2023 SOBC Winter Games: Fun Facts

These will be Special Olympics BC's first in-person Provincial Games in four years!

About the 2023 Special Olympics BC Winter Games

The 2023 Special Olympics BC Winter Games will bring together approximately 500 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 eight SOBC winter sports: 5-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating. The competitors will be supported by approximately 150 volunteer coaches and mission staff.

Special Olympics BC athletes participate in year-round programs all over the province. They also have opportunities to show their skills and challenge themselves in local, regional, provincial, national, and international competitions.

Athletes qualified for spots in the 2023 SOBC Games by competing in SOBC Winter Regional Qualifiers in 2022. They come to Provincial Games as part of their Regional teams representing the eight sport regions of B.C. as well as the Yukon.

At the 2023 SOBC Games, athletes will be competing for the chance to advance to the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta. Those National Games will be the qualifier for the next Special Olympics World Winter Games.

In 2023, the SOBC Games Opening Ceremony will be held on February 2, followed by competition throughout February 3 and 4. A Closing Ceremony (for Games participants only) will be held on February 4 and a volunteer recognition breakfast will take place on February 5.

Approximately 800 Kamloops-area volunteers will be needed for this life-changing opportunity. Please click here to register for a rewarding volunteer role!



This will be the fifth time Canada’s Tournament Capital has played host to Special Olympics BC Games, proudly hosting athletes with intellectual disabilities from all over B.C. and the Yukon.  

“I am so pleased on behalf of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to be extending a warm welcome to the 2023 Special Olympics BC Winter Games being held here in Kamloops. They will be visiting our direct unceded ancestral lands within Secwepemcúlecw (Shuswap Nation) and we look forward to all the athletes who will be visiting the tournament capital. We hope that everyone enjoys the beauty of these traditional lands while here in Kamloops and has an amazing time competing in all the categories of this wonderful sporting event,” says Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

“We are pleased to once again host the Special Olympics BC Winter Games. The pandemic has been a long road for everyone—we are fully prepared to host and celebrate the return to sport at an event where everyone is empowered to achieve their personal best,” said City of Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian. “Sports have the power to bring people together, and we can’t wait to welcome back athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators into our community.”

“We’re thrilled to be returning to Provincial Games action, after a pandemic pause, and we’re beyond thrilled to be returning to Kamloops,” says SOBC Vice President, Sport, Lois McNary. “Canada’s Tournament Capital truly knows how to host exceptional sport experiences. Special Olympics BC athletes and volunteers cannot wait to come back together for Provincial Games. The joy surrounding these Games will be off the charts.”

“I am excited that the 2023 Special Olympics BC Provincial Winter Games are coming to Kamloops,” SOBC – Kamloops athlete Joshua Trudell says. “It was an honour and fun to compete in the 2019 Provincial Winter Games in Vernon. I made new friends, challenged myself with my skills, and made fun memories. I hope that I get a chance to compete in the 2023 SOBC Winter Games when they are in my own hometown, so friends and family can come and cheer me on.”

Kamloops hosted the first-ever Special Olympics BC Games in 1986, and went on to host SOBC Summer Games in 2017 as well as SOBC Winter Games in 2015 and 2003.

Kamloops is also home to outstanding Special Olympics athletes, volunteers, and programs year-round. Special Olympics BC – Kamloops operates a variety of seasonal sport, youth, and fitness programs for athletes with intellectual disabilities, and always welcomes new athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supporters to join our joyful community. Year-round programs are operating with strong safety protocols in place. Please click here to learn more and get involved


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