#SOTeamBC2024 triumphed together at National Games

What an incredible week of competition, friendship, and empowerment for Special Olympics Team BC 2024! 141 athletes, 50 coaches, and 14 mission staff stepped up to the spotlight and showcased their amazing abilities at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024.

Three SO Team BC 2024 cross country skiing athletes on the podium, holding hands up together
(Left to right): Kelsey Wyse, Tracey Melesko, and Shannon Lindquist celebrating a podium sweep in cross country skiing!

From February 27 to March 2, the 2024 National Games saw over 4,000 visitors gather in Calgary, creating lifelong memories of competition, camaraderie, and celebration in eight sports. 

“The 2024 National Games were an absolute joy to be a part of,” says SO Team BC 2024 Chef de Mission Michelle Cruickshank. “The athletes gave it their all during competition, as they achieved many personal bests and podium finishes in their sports. To see all of their hard work pay off is truly amazing. This has been an unforgettable National Games experience!"

After nine months of training and preparation, SO Team BC 2024 showed up to competition with great confidence. They collected 54 gold, 45 silver, and 36 bronze medals, totaling up to a whopping 135 medals!

Find full medal results here

Amidst all the victorious podium finishes, athletes embraced this year’s National Games motto, “Together We Can.” They bonded with teammates through sport, connected with new and old friends from across the province, and created countless memories that will last a lifetime.

Campbell River Rocks curling team group photo on curling ice
The Campbell River Rocks celebrating their bronze medal finish at their first-ever National Games!

"From the bottom of my heart, this is my first National Games, and I want to dedicate it to each and every single one of you, those who have helped me and been there for me. And I am also dedicating this to my family back home, because I know they're proud of me," says SOBC – Quesnel snowshoeing athlete Scott Jonasson.

SOBC – Surrey floor hockey athlete Thuc Nguyen enjoyed every moment of the National Games experience, saying, “it was so fun. My floor hockey team was good – I was happy!”

Behind each hardworking Special Olympics athlete are dedicated volunteers, families, and supporters who provide inspiring guidance and heartfelt encouragement. The 2024 National Games was truly a team effort.

“It's been such an amazing experience for them and they're enjoying every single minute. To see the smile on their face once they finish the course and being so happy, or standing on the podium – they're so excited. I think that's my satisfaction," says SOBC – Coquitlam alpine skiing NextGen coach Isabelle Schnurr.

Two SO Team BC 2024 speed skaters racing each other on the ice
SO Team BC 2024 speed skaters Paige Norton (left) and Hillary Birkett (right) were in tight races all week long!

Parent Suni Dunn from SOBC – Prince George wrote, “This is the best experience for us as a family, as friends, and as supporters. That is because of the wonderful athletes and their families that we met over the week and especially the wonderful SO Team BC coaches and mission staff. I’m impressed with the athletes’ efforts and results, which is so rewarding as a parent and coach who sees how hard an athlete trains and it really showed with all the personal bests.”

For B.C. athletes, the 2024 National Games are the qualifier for the 2025 Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will be hosted in Torino, Italy. Stay tuned for future announcements of B.C. members of the Special Olympics Team Canada 2025 Training Squad!

At the 2024 SOC National Games Closing Ceremony, Special Olympics Canada announced the host community for the next National Games. The 2026 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games will remain in Alberta, taking place in the City of Medicine Hat. Find the full announcement here

Special Olympics BC’s year-round sport, youth, and health programs continue to empower athletes with intellectual disabilities of all ages in 55 communities around the province. There are many rewarding roles within our joyful programs, and everyone who wants to change lives through sport can contact their local community to get involved today.

Special Olympics Team BC 2024 links

Get involved with SOBC