Special Olympics Canada is pleased to announce Medicine Hat, Alberta as the host of its next Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in 2022.
While it marks the third time Alberta will host a Special Olympics Canada National Games, the growing city of Medicine Hat also boasts a history of highly successful events, including the Special Olympics Alberta Provincial Summer Games 2017.
The city of 65,000 is well-equipped with more than 115-kilometres of hiking and biking trails, 250 hectares of parks and more recreational facilities per capita than most other cities in Canada – from indoor and outdoor pools, to soccer fields, baseball diamonds, an all-weather track and six first-class golf courses.
“We’re a growing city with a small-town feel, community warmth and big-city business and services,” said Medicine Hat mayor, Ted Clugston. “The city of Medicine Hat is ready to share its community spirit and hospitality and welcome all participants and visitors to the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in 2022.”
Located in the scenic South Saskatchewan River Valley in Southern Alberta, Medicine Hat is known as “Canada’s sunniest city” with 330 days of sunshine each year, averaging a summer temperature of 22C.
“Special Olympics Canada is thrilled sunny Medicine Hat will be the home of our next Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Canada CEO Sharon Bollenbach. “Having previously hosted Special Olympics events, we know Medicine Hat will go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional Games experience for the hundreds of athletes participating at Special Olympics Canada’s signature sport competition.”
According to Blair McIntosh, Special Olympics Canada’s VP Sport, Medicine Hat submitted a strong bid focused on “the care and comfort of our athletes.”
“The site visit confirmed that the community could meet or exceed all the facility requirements, accommodations, food and transportation that will enable our athletes to compete to the best of their ability,” said McIntosh. “There was a clear sign of tremendous support at all levels of the volunteer community and the city.”
Games Organizing Committee Chairman Brian Varga was honoured when his team received the news.
“Over the next 34 months, we will prove that you did make the right choice in choosing Medicine Hat as the host city,” he said. “The work starts now and all of us, the Board, the volunteers and the community will strive to make this the best Games ever.”
The Special Olympics Canada Summer Games is a national sporting event for Canadian athletes with an intellectual disability. To compete, each athlete must qualify at their local and provincial/territorial levels before moving on to compete in one of 10 sports featured at the Summer Games, which includes 10-pin bowling, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, powerlifting, soccer, softball and swimming.
Alternating between the Special Olympics Canada Summer and Winter Games every two years, cities across Canada have the opportunity to bid on hosting the National Games.
The Special Olympics Canada Summer Games Medicine Hat 2022 will be the qualifying event for athletes to represent Special Olympics Team Canada at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.