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

Inquest into death of Jocelyn George postponed due to COVID-19

Coroner’s inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni woman was supposed to start July 6

Port Alberni’s Joe Hill celebrates 90th birthday with waves through a window

Retired accountant receives best wishes via Zoom, meets newborn great-grandchild

Alberni Golf Club reopens with new COVID-19 rules

J and L Mixed Scramble kicks off 2020 season

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

A LOOK BACK: recreation in Port Alberni’s downtown

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read