2019 SOBC Winter Games: Fun Facts

About the 2019 SOBC Winter Games

The 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games will bring together more than 800 athletes with intellectual disabilities and volunteer coaches and mission staff from all over the province. These will be SOBC's largest Provincial Winter Games to date!

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 600 participating athletes will be supported by more than 200 volunteer coaches and mission staff.

The competitors qualified to advance to the 2019 Provincial Games by competing in Regional Qualifiers in 2018. 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 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Those National Games will be the qualifier for the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Sweden.

In 2019, the SOBC Games Opening Ceremony will be held on February 21, followed by competition throughout February 22 and 23. A Closing Ceremony (for Regional teams only) will be held on February 23 and volunteer recognition breakfast on February 24.

Incredible volunteers have snapped up the more than 800 shifts required to make the Games a reality.

Meet Vernon's athletes who are excited to do their best competing in their hometown

About Greater Vernon

Vernon was named after Forbes George Vernon, a former MLA of British Columbia who helped establish the Coldstream Ranch in nearby Coldstream. The City of Vernon was incorporated on December 30, 1892. The City of Vernon has a population of 40,000 (2013), while its metropolitan region, Greater Vernon, has a population of 58,584 as of the Canada 2011 Census.

The site of the city was discovered by the Okanagan people, a tribe of the Interior Salish people, who initially named the community Nintle Moos Chin, meaning "jumping over place where the creek narrows".

Greater Vernon is made up of the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream and RDNO Electoral Areas “B” (BX/Swan Lake) and “C” (BX/Silver Star).

With over 80 parks and trails spread throughout the two municipalities and two electoral areas that make up Greater Vernon.

For more information about Parks and Trails in Greater Vernon, please visit the Greater Vernon Parks and Recreation website at www.greatervernonrecreation.ca.

Greater Vernon is home to SilverStar Mountain Resort, located 22 kilometres northeast of Vernon. It's B.C.’s third-largest ski area, featuring over 3,282 skiable acres with four distinct mountain faces and 132 runs. The village is 1,609 m above sea level (5,280 ft) – and is a mid-mountain, ski-in, ski-out area.

Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre is North America's largest Nordic ski club. Combined with the trails at SilverStar Mountain Resort, there are over 105 km of groomed trails. It has hosted two World Cup events, the 2005 World Cup, and 2011 World Masters Championships. It will host the 2020 Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships.

Kal Tire Place is an NHL and international-sized arena with seating for 3,003 and standing room for approximately 500. It will host the Opening Ceremony. The facility provides skating, ringette and hockey opportunities and serves as the home of the Vernon Vipers and visiting teams of the BCHL. When the ice comes out, the facility houses Junior and Senior Lacrosse games and tournaments.

Kal Tire Place - North facility has a regulation-size 200’ x 85’ sheet of ice, seating for 400 spectators. In addition, the facility features two lease spaces for dryland training facilities, multi-purpose room, and additional office space.