500 athletes from across B.C. are headed to Sun Peaks and Kamloops to compete in the Special Olympics winter games, which include alpine races, snowshoeing, bowling, speed and figure skating, floor hockey, curling and cross-country skiing.
The 2023 Special Olympics BC (SOBC) takes place from Thursday, Feb. 2 to Saturday, Feb. 4.
Sun Peaks will host the giant slalom and super-G on Friday, Feb. 3. Those wishing to attend these events will need a lift pass and the ability to ski or snowboard to the events.
On Saturday, Feb. 4, Sun Peaks will be the site of a slalom event where attendees can watch from the mountain’s base, close to Sun Peaks Resort.
SOBC games chair Jan Antons said the event is a return to tournament competitions for athletes since COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.
“A lot of them have not returned to the sport or competition in tournaments for the last four years … there’s going to be quite a lot of excitement and eagerness,” Antons said.
Antons said COVID-19 impacted “athletes at all levels” and had a significant impact on SOBC athletes with intellectual disabilities.
“These games are more about enjoyment and getting together than the points or getting the highest score. And that’s really what people see in these events, how many smiles and how joyful people are,” he said.
The opening ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, at Tournament Capital Centre Fieldhouse in Kamloops. There is no cost or ticket required for entry to the opening ceremony.
Antons encourages people to check out SOBC’s website for the events because start times can change at the last minute.
SOBC is also looking to fill a few more volunteer positions for the alpine events in Sun Peaks.
Anyone interested in volunteering can email SOBC Competition Coordinator Ailey Jarvis at [email protected]
Antons said those attending Sun Peaks and Kamloops events should say hello to athletes if they see them.
“Say hi or wave at [the athletes] and make them feel welcome because that’s what [SOBC is] really about.”
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