SPECIAL OLYMPICS BC INFORMATION
Special Olympics is an unprecedented global movement which, through
quality sport training and competition, improves the lives of people with
intellectual disabilities and, in turn, the lives of everyone they touch.
Anyone who’s ever been involved in sport, at any level, knows the
significance it has on lives—from shaping our bodies to changing our attitudes. For decades,
we’ve seen how sport transforms people. Special Olympics athletes use sport to develop physical
fitness, find acceptance, become confident, and aspire to greatness in other aspects of their lives.
As others get involved—becoming volunteers, coaches, and donors—their actions change their
lives and the lives of others in extraordinary ways.
Today, Special Olympics stands as a leader in the field of sport for those with intellectual
disabilities. Here in British Columbia we have over 3,500 athletes training and competing in
Special Olympics BC programs in 54 communities. Twenty-six hundred Special Olympics BC
volunteers, including Law Enforcement Torch Run volunteers, bring to life year-round programs in
These sport opportunities provide athletes with far more than the physical benefits of improved
health and athletic ability. The participation in sport provides opportunities for athletes to develop
social skills, cultivate friendships, strive for and achieve goals, and increase their self-esteem—
enabling athletes to win in sport, and in life.
Where does SOBC operate?
100 Mile House Elk Valley Oceanside Okanagan
Abbotsford Fort St. John Penticton Squamish
Burnaby Golden Port Alberni Summerland
Burns Lake Grand Forks Powell River Sunshine Coast
Campbell River Kamloops Prince George Surrey
Castlegar Kelowna Prince Rupert Terrace
Chilliwack Keremeos Princeton Trail
Clearwater Kimberley/Cranbrook Quesnel Vancouver
Comox Valley Kitimat Revelstoke Vernon
Coquitlam Langley Richmond Victoria
Cowichan Valley Mission Ridge Meadows Whistler Valley
Creston Nanaimo Salmon Arm Williams Lake
Dawson Creek Nelson Salt Spring Island
Delta North Shore Smithers
What sports are offered:
Summer sports: Athletics, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, 5 & 10 pin bowling, aquatics,
Winter sports: Alpine skiing, curling, floor hockey, figure skating, Nordic skiing,
Demonstration sports: Bocce, golf, basketball.
COMMON QUESTIONS REGARDING SPECIAL OLYMPICS BC
When are the Games?
Special Olympics programs run 365 days a year in over 160 countries throughout the world.
There are World Games, which most people are familiar with, but athletes at this level have
trained and competed for a minimum of four years prior to this competition. Competitions and
training occurs continually throughout the year.
Competitions and training are happening all the time, in every sport throughout BC. At anytime a
Local (SOBC community program) may host either an Invitational or Open competition. These are
occurring throughout the year.
Just like the generic Olympics, there is a four-year competition cycle for Special Olympics’ sports.
Below is a program calendar. Athletes from throughout British Columbia, at every ability level,
may participate at any level.
Year 2008 – Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, Quebec City
Aren’t the Special Olympics held after the regular Olympics?
No. The Games held after the generic Olympics are the Paralympics. These Games are for
individuals with a physical disability.
Who exactly is served by the organization?
Special Olympics BC offers sport programs for persons with an intellectual disability. Individuals
may have multiple disabilities (i.e. physical as well as intellectual) but the intellectual disability
must manifest during the individuals’ developmental age (between birth and 18 years of age) in
order to be eligible.
How many ‘kids’ are involved in BC?
Approximately 75% of the athletes involved in Special Olympics BC programs are adults and
should be treated as such. Special Olympics BC promotes use of the term “athlete” when
referring to individuals involved in Special Olympics programs. Currently, there are approximately
3,500 athletes involved in SOBC programs.
What is the correct language when referring to individuals involved with SOBC?
To ensure that an intellectual disability be just one of many adjectives that might be used to
describe someone (leaving the emphasis on the person rather than a condition) the preferred
A person with an intellectual disability
John Public, who has an intellectual disability
Remember focus on the ABILITY, not the disability.
Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win, but if I cannot win,
let me be brave in the attempt.”