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Special Olympics Canada Honoured to Receive PRESTIGE Award for the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games

Special Olympics Canada is delighted to announce it is the recipient of this year’s 2015 Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) PRESTIGE Award for Sustainable Sport Event of the Year for the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games that took place in July, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Special Olympics Canada was also nominated by CSTA in the Canadian Sport Event of the Year category (Group A: Greater than $1 Million) for the 2014 Games.

The PRESTIGE Awards honour companies and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the success of the sport tourism industry, and Special Olympics Canada is thrilled to have been included amongst some notable organizations. The Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games were an incredible opportunity to not only showcase Special Olympics athletes and their abilities, but to also embrace sustainability and environmental initiatives and create a culture of conservation for future Games.

“We are honoured to be recognized by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance for the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Canada CEO, Sharon Bollenbach. “Special Olympics Canada is proud that the Games were so well received and that our commitment to a sustainable legacy has been acknowledged by such an influential organization.”

Special Olympics Canada, alongside the Games Organizing Committee, the host chapter, Special Olympics British Columbia, and the University of British Columbia, were conscious of building a sustainable legacy for the Games, including getting all the athletes, mission staff and volunteers from across the country on board. Notable sustainable actions that occurred at the Games were actively engaging athletes to consciously consider the environment on a daily basis, with the goal of a waste-free Games in mind.  Athletes were given reusable water-bottles as well as a sustainability passport in order to track their environmental efforts as they participated in the Games. The passports taught athletes to take a more active role in their surroundings and allow them to consider healthier and more environmentally beneficial choices. The Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games raised the standards for Games going forward as well as for Special Olympics Canada as an organization.

The Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games were the largest Games in Special Olympics Canada’s history, hosting over 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials from across the country. The Games served as an opportunity to embrace new things, adding three new sports for competition and introducing online live-streaming of events for fans and followers at home. Special Olympics Canada was privileged to have members of the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee (VANOC) on board as members of the Games Organizing Committee for these Games, including Chair, Cathy Priestner Allinger, who was an integral aspect of making the Vancouver Olympics such a success.