Calgary Wins Special Olympics Canada 2024 Winter Games

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“This will not only be a great opportunity for our athletes to experience all that Calgary has to offer, but will also put our athletes at the heart of the community where we can witness inclusion to full effect”

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Calgary has been chosen to host 1,300 athletes participating in the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in 2024.

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The event, which will take place in February of that year, will qualify athletes to compete in the Special Olympics Team Canada World Winter Games in 2025 and is expected to boost the city’s economy by more than $9 million. of dollars.

Calgary has been given the green light for the Games, which bring together competitors with intellectual disabilities, with an emphasis on “the care and comfort of our athletes,” says Special Olympics Canada vice-president Sport Blair McIntosh .

“This will not only be a great opportunity for our athletes to experience all that Calgary has to offer, but it will also put our athletes at the heart of the community where we can witness inclusion fully effective,” McIntosh said in a statement. communicated.

With its rich history of hosting major sporting events, such as the 1988 Winter Olympics, Calgary will be a place of support for Special Olympians, Mayor Jyoti Gondek said.

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“We look forward to sharing our great facilities and our inclusive community spirit will welcome all with open arms,” Gondek said.

“I know Calgarians will volunteer in great numbers to ensure this event provides the experience of a lifetime for these incredible athletes and their families.

These participants will compete in eight events: five-pin bowling, floor hockey, cross-country and downhill skiing, figure skating, curling, snowshoeing and speed skating.

To compete in Calgary, these athletes must qualify at the local and provincial/territorial levels.

The city’s spirit of sporting inclusivity makes it an excellent choice to host the Games, said Calgarian and Olympian Catriona Le May Doan.

“Calgary is a city with a strong commitment to providing diverse opportunities in sport for people of all abilities. Sport connects us all and we are thrilled to bring this incredible event to our city,” said Doan, Board Member of Special Olympics Canada.

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With approximately 1,300 athletes accompanied by officials, family and friends, the Games also promise to be an economic boon for the city, said Tourism Calgary CEO Cindy Ady.

She also noted that it would coincide with that year’s Chinook Blast festival.

“Amazing athletes, as well as family, friends, supporters, coaches and officials can all expect a warm welcome to our city and a fun event with the chance to experience the new winter festival of Calgary, Chinook Blast,” she said in a statement.

The February 2024 extravaganza will be the fourth time Alberta has hosted a Special Olympics Canada National Games.

Calgary was the site of the 2019 Special Olympics Alberta Provincial Winter Games.

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Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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