JANUARY 2018 - Antigonish, Nova Scotia, will host the Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games. This will be the second time the province of Nova Scotia has held a National Summer Games, having last hosted the event in 1994. The announcement was made today by Antigonish Mayor Carl Chisholm and Marc Champoux, (Co-Chairs 2018); President of St. Francis Xavier University, Kent MacDonald; representatives from the provincial chapter, and Sharon Bollenbach CEO of Special Olympics Canada.
“Special Olympics Canada is thrilled that Antigonish will be the home of the 2018 Summer Games,” said Sharon Bollenbach, CEO, Special Olympics Canada. “Antigonish has been a pillar of community and volunteer support for Special Olympics Nova Scotia, and we are excited to be welcoming the National Games, Special Olympics Canada’s signature sport competition, and all the excitement it brings, to the area.”
Antigonish has played host to many Special Olympics Nova Scotia Summer Games, providing incredible support for athletes, families and friends alike. St. Francis Xavier University was chosen as the host for the athlete’s village and several sports, due to the tremendous quality games experience that can be offered to Special Olympics athletes. Both the town of Antigonish and St. Francis Xavier University will work to offer high level sport competition with all events in close proximity to allow for maximum event exposure.
In addition, Special Olympics is very pleased to announce the Co-Chairs of the Games Organizing Committee, Carl Chisholm, Mayor of Town of Antigonish and well known business man Marc Champoux.
“Sport has played a large role in my life, and that of my family. Being able to combine this passion with a great organization brings me tremendous pride and excitement as we seek to create the best National Games experience for all the athletes”, says Co-Chair Marc Champoux.
“Having personally witnessed the power of Special Olympics on both the local and national level, I couldn’t be more proud to have the games hosted in Antigonish and play a role in making this great event happen”, says Co-Chair Carl Chisholm.
The event will also be heavily supported by an Honorary Council led by Peter MacKay. An announcement regarding additional Honorary Council members will be made in the upcoming weeks. The Honorary Council will play an integral part in helping to increase the event profile and secure resources needed to deliver a successful games experience in 2018.
“Having been fortunate to participate in the 1994 National Games hosted in Halifax as a coach, I am thrilled to be part of the team responsible for this incredible sporting event. Nova Scotia will undoubtedly do itself proud once again, and Special Olympics athletes will be treated to an experience they will never forget”, says Michael Greek, President and CEO, Special Olympics Nova Scotia.
The Special Olympics Canada Summer Games is a national sporting event for competitive athletes with intellectual disabilities. Each athlete must qualify at the local and provincial level before coming to the National Games. The Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games is also a qualifying event for athletes to represent Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
There are 9 sports featured at the Games: athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, powerlifting, soccer, softball and swimming.
It is expected that over 3,000 spectators will be on site to experience the Games, in addition to over 900 athletes, 290 coaches, officials and mission staff, and 600 volunteers.