2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games Set to be Held in Greater Vernon

Next February, the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games will be hosted 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 2019 Provincial Games 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.

The 2019 SOBC Games location was announced this morning (January 16) in the Vernon Recreation Centre, in an event with remarks from SOBC President & CEO Dan Howe, City of Vernon Mayor Akbul Mund, Greater Vernon Advisory Committee Chair Juliette Cunningham, School District 22 Board Chair Kelly Smith, and SOBC – Vernon athlete Justin Sigal.  Sigal is excited about hosting the games here.  He is a cross country and downhill skier and was a medalist in Cross Country Skiing at the 2017 world winter games in Austria. 

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.