Special Olympic BC Winter Games 2019 opening ceremony. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Special Olympics BC Winter Games a success

Top performers from the SOBC Games in Vernon qualified for spots on Team BC, members to be announced.

Last weekend, Vernon saw more than 600 athletes with intellectual disabilities, who gave their all in the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games.

After earning their spots in the 2019 SOBC Games through Regional Qualifiers in 2018, the competitors from all over B.C. trained hard with the year-round Special Olympics programs in their hometowns to be able to pursue personal bests in Vernon.

Inspiring many with their work ethic and positive attitudes, the athletes delivered outstanding performances and were a shining example of the way Special Olympics athletes turn the spotlight on abilities and change the way the world sees people with intellectual disabilities. About 1,220 medals were awarded to proud athletes; their smiles lit up the podiums.

Related: Special Olympics B.C. Games wrap in Vernon

Related: Meet Vernon Special Olympics hometown heroes

Supported by more than 200 dedicated volunteer coaches and mission staff, the athletes competed in the eight SOBC winter sports, and the Greater Vernon venues – SilverStar Mountain Resort, Sovereign Lake Nordic Club, the Greater Vernon Recreation Complex, and Lincoln Lanes – provided outstanding fields of play and warm welcomes.

More than 800 volunteer shifts were claimed by kind and enthusiastic people who provided outstanding support and impressive positive energy throughout the two-day event.

“In the Opening Ceremony, I told the athletes to give it their all and inspire us, and they absolutely did. I declare Greater Vernon inspired,” 2019 SOBC Games Chair Glenn Benischek said. “The response from this community was so incredible. So many volunteers and sponsors chose to get involved, and they brought such great energy and interest. Everyone I talked to was so positive.”

Top performers from the SOBC Games in Vernon qualified for spots on Team BC and will compete in the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which will be the national qualifier for the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Sweden. Team B.C. 2020 members will be announced in the spring.

“My first Provincial Games in 2015 led me all the way to World Games in Austria and to Parliament Hill with Team Canada meeting Justin Trudeau. (The journey) was amazing. I feel proud of myself for making it that far and for doing my best and working so hard,” said SOBC Kelowna snowshoer Tony Wilkinson.

While the 2019 SOBC Games are now over, the year-round Special Olympics sport, youth, and health programs in Vernon and 55 communities around the province continue to change lives through the power and joy of sport. There are many opportunities to get involved with the inspiring and fun Special Olympics family; new members are always welcome to participate, volunteer, and donate.

Related: Special Olympics B.C. Games torch made in Vernon

Related: Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Related: Athletes hit the slopes for the final day of SOBC

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

Time-lapse video shows weekend work on McKenzie Interchange project

Construction crews place concrete underpass bridge beams

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

Watchdog group says Saanich council needs a ‘reality check’ about taxes

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria warns of eroding housing affordability in Saanich

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Most Read