The North Okanagan will be well represented as more than 500 athletes from across the province come together in Kamloops for the 2023 Special Olympics B.C. (SOBC) Winter Games presented by Prospera Credit Union.
Running Feb. 2-4, these will be SOBC’s first provincial games in four years, and a powerful opportunity for athletes with intellectual disabilities to step into the spotlight, reconnect with friends, and be celebrated for their abilities.
“In the pandemic, it was hard, and I could not see all my friends. It made me sad inside. I’m glad I’m back in session, hanging out with my friends and going back to my sports,” said Special Olympics B.C. athlete Bridget Colvin. “I’m excited to be going to the Provincial Games in Kamloops, because I made it for curling. I cheered for myself up and down, I was shocked I got accepted, I was shocked and proud.”
The 2023 Special Olympics B.C. Games athletes will give their all in the eight SOBC winter sports: five-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating.
Athletes earned their spots in these Games through their performances in regional qualifiers held from January to May 2022. They are currently training hard in the year-round Special Olympics programs in their communities, getting ready to pursue personal bests in Kamloops and compete for the chance to qualify for the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary.
The North Okanagan athletic, coaching, liaison and medical contingent consists of:
Janny Jung, snowshoeing assistant coach;
Adam Songer, curling;
Cheryl Bird, five-pin bowling; Erin Murphy, five-pin bowling; Jamie Potter, five-pin bowling; Katelyn Oliver, five-pin bowling; Steven Linemayr, five-pin bowling; Dominique Borgeaud, cross-country skiing; Justin Sigal, cross-country skiing; Leslie Sigal, cross-country skiing head coach; Carol King, cross-country skiing assistant coach; Heidi Borgeaud, cross-country skiing assistant coach; Danielle Pechet, snowshoeing; Mary Adamson, snowshoeing; Laura Murphy, curling assistant coach; Sydney Feeney, mission staff; Kristienne Kennedy, medical liaison.
Lake Country’s Kathleen Cameron is a head coach with the zone curling team, and Salmon Arm’s Ernest Nelson is an assistant coach in curling.
“The 2023 Special Olympics BC Winter Games will be an incredible opportunity for athletes with intellectual disabilities to show their skills, compete with pride, and develop meaningful friendships,” says SOBC President & CEO Dan Howe. “We are so grateful to all the volunteers, sponsors, donors, and supporters who are helping athletes achieve their dreams.”
Members of the public can make a difference for deserving Special Olympics BC athletes by getting involved in rewarding roles in the year-round Special Olympics programs in their communities, and by donating to help make the empowering SOBC Games experience possible.
Supporters can find the 2023 SOBC Winter Games stories, photos, and more at www.sobcgameskamloops.ca.
Greater Vernon hosted the 2019 SOBC Winter Games.