Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games reaches one-year countdown milestone

Provincial Chefs de Mission selected as teams begin qualifying process

VANCOUVER, July 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The 2014 Games Organizing Committee, together with the Province of British Columbia, athletes, volunteers and community partners are celebrating the one-year countdown to the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games taking place in Vancouver from July 8 to 12, 2014.  The 2014 Games will be the largest Special Olympics Games held in Canada with the addition of three new sports, and an anticipated 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials from across the country gathering for the competition.

At the one-year milestone, the Chefs de Mission for each province and territory have now been selected to lead their respective teams in 2014. Across the country, qualifying provincial games are being held this summer to select teams for the 11 sports to be featured at the 2014 Games. Athletes will be competing in athletics, basketball, bocce, five- and ten-pin bowling, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball and swimming.

"Canada's 2014 Special Olympics Games promise to be an extraordinary experience for Canadian athletes with intellectual disabilities, and an exciting display of top-level competition and sport," said Cathy Priestner Allinger, Chair of the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games.  "These will be the largest national Games ever held and we are most grateful for the support we have received so far, particularly from the Province of British Columbia."

"The Special Olympics movement and its athletes are an important reminder that sport has an incredible capacity to build communities, strengthen individuals and break through barriers," said the Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Province of British Columbia. "On behalf of the Province of British Columbia, we are pleased to support these games and look forward to welcoming these tremendous athletes from across Canada to our province."

The Province of British Columbia, through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development has committed $300,000 to the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games.

"In addition to our strong partnership with the Provincial Government, we are pleased with the significant support we have received from British Columbia's corporate community," said Priestner Allinger. "A number of leading BC organizations, including our Gold level sponsor, Goldcorp, have committed their support to ensure we deliver an exceptional Games experience for our athletes from across the country."

Many other leading organizations have also committed to supporting the 2014 Games, including Government of Canada through Special Olympics Canada, Silver Wheaton, Lundin Foundation, Teck Resources and the University of British Columbia.

The 2014 Games will be hosted at one of Canada's preeminent post-secondary institutions - the University of British Columbia - and will also feature events at the University Golf Club in Vancouver and The Zone Bowling Centre in Richmond. The Special Olympics movement is supported by a strong volunteer network of coaches, organizers and officials.  Over 1,000 volunteers will be recruited to host the 2014 Games.

The 2014 Chefs de Mission are:

  • Johnny Byrne - Special Olympics Alberta
  • Shawn Fevens - Special Olympics British Columbia
  • Susan Lamboo - Special Olympics Manitoba
  • Roger Ryan - Special Olympics New Brunswick
  • Darrin Reid - Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Lynn Elkin - Special Olympics Northwest Territories
  • Matt Quinn - Special Olympics Nova Scotia
  • James Noronha - Special Olympics Ontario
  • Charity Sheehan - Special Olympics Prince Edward Island
  • Ariane Chretien Boucher - Special Olympics Quebec
  • Darlene MacQuarrie - Special Olympics Saskatchewan
  • Janine Peters - Special Olympics Yukon

About the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games: The 2014 Games are taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 8 to 12, 2014.  The 2014 Games will be the largest held in Canada featuring over 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials, in 11 sports including in athletics, basketball, bocce, five- and ten-pin bowling, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball and swimming. www.vancouver2014.com.

Image with caption: "Special Olympic Canada 2014 Summer Games Chair, Cathy Priestner Allinger along with Special Olympics athletes get ready for the upcoming 2014 Games. (credit: Mark Bergshoeff) (CNW Group/Special Olympics Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130708_C6021_PHOTO_EN_28854.jpg

SOURCE: Special Olympics Canada

For further information:

Media Contact
Cheryl Muir
cherylmuir@shaw.ca / 604-812-5965

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