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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

KGH Foundation establishes COVID-19 response fund to support frontline workers

Doctors, nurses and staff have been challenged to pivot operations to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

Children of frontline workers to return to Central Okanagan schools

Approximately 500 K-6 students will return as 25 schools open doors on Monday

Four vehicle crash stalls traffic in Glenmore

The four-vehicle fender bender took place about 4:15 p.m.

Student at Kelowna digital arts school potentially tests positive COVID-19

The CATO student claimed they first exhibited symptoms the day before the campus officially closed

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Colouring book will feature images of Summerland

Project is a joint initiative of Summerland Museum and Summerland Community Arts Council

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Food support continues for Okanagan students despite school closures

Kids aren’t going hungry thanks to Kal Rotary and Starfish Backpack program

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents on Highway 1

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read