Bring on the competition!

The opening ceremony of the BC Special Olympics takes place Thursday with 600 athletes ready to compete.

And make no mistake, they are here to compete.

“The competition is serious. All of them take it very seriously,” said Glenn Benischek, games chairperson of the organizing committee. “They all want to compete and win medals, it's exciting. It's very inspirational to watch these athletes who are wanting a purpose in life and this gives them a sole purpose of winning a medal, competing against other athletes.

“They are so excited to participate and it can be one of the highlights of their whole life.”

The public is invited to come out and cheer for the athletes at the various venues around the North Okanagan.

The opening ceremonies will be held Thursday from 7:30-9 p.m. at Kal Tire Place. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
The Opening Ceremony will include entertainment from the École Beairsto Elementary choir, DJ PK, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run bearing in the Flame of Hope to light the Special Olympics BC cauldron created by A-1 Machine & Welding.

The highlight of the opening ceremony will be the teams walking in with pride, joined by dignitaries including Games Honorary Coach Orland Kurtenbach, the Vancouver Canucks’ first captain.

The teams represent the eight sport regions of B.C. as well as the Yukon. They will be joined by Special Olympics Alberta’s provincial cross country skiing competitors, who were not able to participate in the 2019 Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games due to lack of snow. 

The 2019 SOBC Games organizing committee made efforts to welcome the Albertan cross country skiers to Greater Vernon so they can compete in a qualifier for the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.

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