The Government of Canada celebrates Team Canada athletes who competed in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria from March 14 to 25
OTTAWA, Nov. 29, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's athletes have been and continue to be sources of inspiration for all Canadians, regardless of age and abilities.
The Government of Canada, in partnership with Special Olympics Canada, today will welcome approximately 135 Canadian athletes, coaches and mission personnel to Ottawa to celebrate their achievements at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games.
The day will kick off with a visit to Notre Dame High School, where athletes will be cheered by students and teachers and take part in a basketball game with some of the school's student athletes.
Finally, for the first time ever, the athletes will be welcomed onto the floor of the House of Commons to be honoured by all members of Parliament, who represent Canadians across the country, followed by a reception celebrating their achievements. This honour is reserved for only very special guests.
"On behalf of all Canadians, the Government of Canada is proud to host our Special Olympics athletes and their coaches. I am very proud of their performances at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria and would like to congratulate them on a job well done. They are inspiring to all Canadians, especially our young ones, and they make us all very proud."
—The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
"Special Olympics Canada is honoured to have been officially recognized today by the Government of Canada. We are grateful for the Government's generous ongoing financial contribution, which allows more than 45,000 athletes with an intellectual disability to participate in sports in communities across the country, with the support of over 21,000 committed volunteers. The more Canadians with intellectual disabilities we can reach with our programs, the healthier we will be as a nation, the stronger our communities will be, and the more inclusive we will be as a society."
—Sharon Bollenbach, Chief Executive Officer, Special Olympics Canada
"On behalf of Special Olympics Team Canada, and my fellow athletes in grassroots programs across the country, thank you to the Government of Canada for its generous and ongoing support. Special Olympics has given me the chance to grow as an athlete and an individual, allowing me to make friends with my fellow athletes as well as volunteers and coaches, contribute to my community and beyond, and pursue a healthier lifestyle."
—Evan James, speed skater, Special Olympics Team Canada
The Team Canada 2017 Special Olympics Celebration of Excellence was attended by approximately 135 Canadian athletes, coaches and mission personnel.
At the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Canada won 121 medals (47 gold, 47 silver and 27 bronze).
The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games took place in Austria from March 14 to 25.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only): Government of Canada, Jane Almeida, Director, Communications, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 819-639-3645, [email protected]; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]; Special Olympics Canada, Christine Mulkins, Boost PR, 647-242-3686, [email protected]; Allison Love, Communications Officer, [email protected], 1-888-888-0608, ext. 4312 (toll free)