2015 SOBC Winter Games












Fun facts

The 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games will bring together just over 700 athletes with intellectual disabilities and volunteer coaches and mission staff from all over the province.

The athletes will compete with determination and pride in the seven SOBC winter sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating.

The competitors qualified to advance to the 2015 Provincial Games by competing in Regional Qualifiers in winter 2014. They come to the Games with their Regional teams representing the eight sport regions of B.C. and the Yukon.

At these Games athletes will be competing for the chance to advance to the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Those National Games will be the qualifier for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

Kamloops has a long history with Special Olympics – it was one of the first communities in B.C. to start offering Special Olympics programs in 1983.

SOBC last hosted Provincial Games in Kamloops in 2003. This year the ice sports will be hosted at McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre, floor hockey at South Kamloops Secondary and John Peterson Secondary, and the snow sports at Sun Peaks Resort.

Alpine skiing will have 59 competitors from all eight SOBC Regions - a first for an SOBC Winter Games!

Cross-country skiing will have 35 racers, representing seven of the eight Regions and the Yukon.

Snowshoeing will have 67 competitors from all eight Regions.

There will be 22 curling teams competing at McArthur Island, hailing from all eight Regions.

Floor hockey will involve 16 teams from Regions 1 through 6 as well as 18 floor hockey skills individual competitors from three Regions.

Figure skating will have 30 competitors from six of the eight SOBC Regions plus Yukon athletes.

Speed skating will have 22 athletes from Regions 3, 4, and 6, marking a strong growing number for SOBC.

Media coverage

Golden weekend for Tsawwassen skier | Delta Optimist, March 8, 2015
It was a golden weekend for Tsawwassen’s Cory Duhaime at the 2015 Special Olympics BC Provincial Winter Games at Sun Peaks.

Special Olympics athletes shine at Sun Peaks | Pique Newsmagazine, March 5, 2015
Two of Whistler's Special Olympics athletes had fun and achieved their goals at the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games at Sun Peaks from Feb. 19 to 21.

Campbell River athletes put on an amazing performance at Special Olympics BC Games | Courier-Islander, March 4, 2015
What an amazing weekend at Kamloops where the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games were held Feb. 19 to 21. Six Special Olympics BC – Campbell River athletes along with three coaches and one mission staff joined with 140 other athletes, coaches and volunteers from Vancouver Island to make up Region 6 which was the largest region at the Games.

Parent skiing to independence | Salmon Arm Observer, March 4, 2015
For Brandon Parent, competing at the Special Olympics BC Winter Games is not about winning medals. Brandon’s mom Natalie says Special Olympics and, more specifically, skiing, has helped him to gain confidence, make new friends and work towards independence.

Strong Special Olympics program in Golden leading to success | The Golden Star, March 3, 2015
There were 700 athletes at the competition in Kamloops, and Region 1 mission staff member Marie-Helene Labonte of Golden says it is a remarkable thing to see. “All of these athletes are just so happy to be competing,” she said. “It’s really inspirational.”

Local athletes capture six medals | Columbia Valley Pioneer, February 27, 2015
Special Olympics BC – Invermere athletes Marlow Feldmann and Brandon Cote captured three medals each in alpine skiing events at the 2015 SOBC Winter Games.

Hefty haul | Cranbrook Daily Townsman, February 25, 2015
The Kimberley/Cranbrook Special Olympics team is back from the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Kamloops and they’ve brought a treasure chest full of hardware.

Nakusp's Special Olympics alpine skier wins silver and two bronze | Arrow Lakes News, February 25, 2015
Three new medals have been added to local alpine skier Jo Blackman’s trophy wall. The Special Olympics athlete has just returned home from Special Olympics provincial competition at Sun Peaks outside of Kamloops with a silver and two bronze medals.

SOBC Games wrap up | Castanet.net, February 25, 2015
The Thompson-Okanagan was the backdrop for the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games, held this year in Kamloops and at Sun Peaks Resort. Competitors from around B.C. and the Yukon took part in seven sports and earned more than 350 medals during the three-day event ending Feb. 21.

SOBC Winter Games in photos (page A18) | Kamloops This Week, February 24, 2015
The Special Olympics BC Winter Games wrapped up in Kamloops on Saturday, February 21. KTW photographer Allen Douglas brought his camera to venues across the Tournament Capital and Sun Peaks.

Creston's Special Olympics floor hockey team brings home gold | Creston Valley Advance, February 24, 2015
Coach Cathy Chlopecki: "Just to see the athletes’ pride and joy is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done."

Special Olympics BC Games Closing Ceremony | CFJC TV, February 23, 2015
Hundreds of Special Olympics athletes gathered to celebrate their competition Saturday night at the Closing Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games. The Tournament Capital Centre transformed into a dance party for much of the evening. Special Olympics athletes and their coaches had a chance to have some fun while reflecting on their excellent performances.

Special Olympics for parents too | CFJC TV, February 20, 2015
"Obviously as a parent I'm a proud dad. It's so neat to see her really focus. ... It's really neat to see, through sports, how the athletes feel good about themselves," says John Shaw, father of figure skater Tamika Broere. For him, Special Olympics is about giving Tamika opportunities to develop life skills, and having the chance to meet fellow parents of athletes with intellectual disabilities. "You're part of a community when you're in Special Olympics."

SOBC Winter Games Opening Ceremony | CFJC TV, February 20, 2015
It was a night of celebration at the Tournament Capital Centre as Kamloops welcomed athletes and parents to the B.C. Special Olympic Winter Games. The enthusiasm was infectious as Special Olympians look forward to competing in 7 events Friday and Saturday.

SOBC Games kick off at Sun Peaks | The Province, February 20, 2015
At Sun Peaks, more than 120 athletes with intellectual disabilities will compete in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Special Olympics BC President inviting Kamloops residents to get in the Games | Kamloops This Week, February 19, 2015
Perceptions in Kamloops about athletes with intellectual disabilities should change over the next two days.

Island figure skaters | CHEK TV, February 19, 2015
Talking with SOBC figure skater Emily Walzak who says Special Olympics is so much more than just fun and games.

Prince George Special Olympics athletes at Provincial Games | Prince George Citizen, February 21, 2015
When Jennifer Germann sprints through the snow during a race, she thinks about freedom. That's her key word that gets her to the finish line.

SOBC Games Report: Kamloops floor hockey feature | CFJC TV, February 18, 2015

Kimberley/Cranbrook skiers and curlers competing in WInter Games | Kootenay News Advertiser, February 18, 2015
Special Olympics BC – Kimberley/Cranbrook is sending a record 11 athletes and 4 coaches to participate in the Provincial Winter Games in Kamloops.

Island speed skaters (starts at 3:32) | CTV Vancouver Island, February 18, 2015

SOBC Games Report: Kamloops snowshoers | CFJC TV, February 17, 2015
Athletes Danny Cleland and Cody Chase are counting down the hours until the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games kick off in their hometown. They can't wait to race as hard as they can and try to win medals.

Geared up for the 2015 SOBC Winter Games | Kamloops This Week, February 17, 2015
Great photo of the Special Olympics BC – Kamloops athletes and coaches bound for the Provincial Games in their hometown!

SOBC Games Report: Kamloops curler Wayne Kulchyski | CFJC TV, February 16, 2015
One of the players on the Region 2 Special Olympics BC – Kamloops curling team is longtime athlete Wayne Kulchyski, who leads with the intangibles he brings to the ice. "We try our best. It doesn't matter win or lose." 

Fort St. John athletes head to SOBC Winter Games | CJDC Country, February 16, 2015
Two Fort St. John athletes are heading to Kamloops to represent the Northern District in the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games.

Lulay, Hay join SOBC Games Kamloops team | Kamloops This Week, February 10, 2015
"Travis Lulay and Don Hay will lend star support to the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Kamloops, serving as honourary coaches and walking  in with regional teams at the opening ceremony on Feb. 19."

SOBC – Trail athletes getting primed for Provincial Games | Trail Times, February 10, 2015
"I'm looking forward to going to Kamloops. I think I'll do pretty good, I've been working hard and it should be a great experience." -SOBC – Trail snowshoeing athlete Jake Miller

Special Olympics Games in Kamloops | Kamloops This Week, February 4, 2015
“I love the athletes and the reminders they give me about dedication and spirit and the true meaning of sport,” said Special Olympics BC – Kamloops Local Coordinator Marilyn McLean, who was helping out at the first provincial Special Olympics event in 1980. “It’s going to be really exciting to host them in Kamloops and for our athletes to be cheered on by their friends and family here.”

Blackman headed to Special Olympics provincials | Arrow Lakes News, February 3, 2015
“I’m excited about going away. I get to ski on a bigger hill with chair lifts, and socialize over the weekend,” says Special Olympics BC –Nakusp alpine skier Jo Blackman.

Sun Peaks hosts 2015 SOBC Winter Games | SPIN Newsmagazine, February 2, 2015

Skiers training hard for the Games | Vernon Morning Star, January 21, 2015
"A very enthusiastic group of Special Olympics BC – Vernon downhill and cross country skiers are training hard these days up on Silver Star Mountain and Sovereign Lake. Every Tuesday head coach Dudley Coulter, a former national racer, challenges his athletes to improve their technique to get faster for the competitions in Kamloops mid-February."

2015 SOBC Games seeking volunteers, athletes gearing up | CFJC TV, January 20, 2015

Invermere Special Olympics athletes head to SOBC Winter Games | Columbia Valley Pioneer, January 16, 2015
"Special Olympics BC – Invermere is proud to be sending athletes to the Special Olympics BC Winter Games for the first time. Brandon Cote and Marlow Feldmann will be joining the rest of the 60 Region 1 (the Kootenay Region) team athletes for the Winter Games in Kamloops on February 20th and 21st, with both Invermere residents participating in all the alpine skiing events — slalom, GS (giant slalom), and Super G (super giant slalom)."

Kamloops Special Olympics athletes counting down the days to the Games | Kamloops This Week, October 24, 2014
"'I was jumping with joy,' curler Megan Gourley said of the moment she learned she would be attending the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in her hometown. 'I cried.'"

Special Olympics BC Winter Games approaching | Kamloops This Week, September 3, 2014
"'The community spirit that’s here in Kamloops is something that’s well established and well demonstrated through all of the events,' said Pat Davis, the chair of the local organizing committee. 'Special Olympics is really one of those events that speaks to the core of the athlete experience. I think this type of event really, hopefully, leaves a legacy for all Special Olympics athletes within the community.'"

Volunteer Chair named for Special Olympics Games | armchairmayor.ca, April 9, 2014
"'I am a firm believer in the positive benefits of sport, and have been involved in sports my entire life both as an athlete and coach,' Pat Davis said in a news release. 'I am extremely excited to be a part of this event and to have an opportunity to help create lasting memories for the athletes we will be hosting.'"

Special Olympics looking for volunteers for 2015 Games | armchairmayor.ca, February 20, 2014
"Special Olympics BC is appealing to Kamloops’s famous volunteer spirit as it prepares for the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games."

2015 SOBC Winter Games on way to city | Kamloops This Week, October 17, 2012
"Kamloops will play host to about 700 athletes with intellectual disabilities in February 2015 when it hosts the Special Olympics BC Winter Games. Lois McNary, Vice President of Sport for SOBC, said Kamloops has a 'proven record of hosting athlete-centric Games,' noting the city impressed organizers when it last played host to the Games in 2003."

Special Olympics athletes thrilled to compete | Kamloops Daily News, November 2, 2012
"For 26-year-old Kamloops resident Danielle Pedersen, going to regular bowling practice, qualifying for higher level competition and travelling to regional events are the highlight of her life.
'I used to be very shy but now it’s getting better,' said Pedersen. 'And there’s the courage to actually be an athlete. Special Olympics became part of my life and I never want to give that up. It’s like my dream.'"