The countdown is on to the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon, starring more than 800 athletes with intellectual disabilities from all over the province and the Yukon competing with pride in eight sports.
The Games are set for February 21, 2019 and will be the largest SOBC Winter Games to date, with a new sport joining the Special Olympics Canada winter-sport competition cycle. The sport of 5-pin bowling is moving from summer to winter, joining alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating. The participating athletes will be supported by more than 250 volunteer coaches and mission staff.
Top performers in Greater Vernon will qualify for spots on Team BC for the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Thunder Bay, Ont., which will be the qualifier for the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games.
“For me, being part of Special Olympics means inclusiveness, teamwork, friendship, travel opportunities, working hard, being committed, dedication, and having fun,” said SOBC – Vernon athlete Sigal, who medalled in cross country skiing in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games and currently also participates in alpine skiing.
SOBC President & CEO Dan Howe said he's excited to be able to host the Games in Greater Vernon.
"We know that Greater Vernon is home to outstanding venues and volunteers that will give our athletes the high-quality competitive experience they deserve,” Howe said.In 2019, the SOBC Games Opening Ceremony will be held on February 21, followed by competition throughout February 22 and 23. A Closing Ceremony open only to Games competitors will be held on February 23, followed by a volunteer recognition breakfast on February 24.
More than 1,000 volunteers will be needed to help stage this inspiring event. Volunteer registration details and Games venues will be announced in the weeks to come. Learn more at www.specialolympics.bc.ca and find SOBC on Facebook and Instagram @specialolympicsbc and Twitter @sobcsociety; the Games hashtags will be #SOBCGames #GreaterVernon2019.
About Special Olympics BC
Special Olympics BC is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport. In 55 communities around the province, we provide year-round training and competitive opportunities in 18 different sports to more than 4,800 athletes of all ages and a wide range of abilities, thanks to the dedicated efforts of over 3,900 volunteers. For more information, please visit www.specialolympics.bc.ca and find us on Facebook and Instagram @specialolympicsbc and Twitter @sobcsociety. To learn more about SOBC – Vernon, visit www.sobcvernon.ca or find them on Facebook @sobcvernon.