Smithers will be well represented at the 2023 Special Olympics B.C. (SOBC) Winter Games with two athletes headed to the games.
Smithers snowshoeing athletes Ann Forbes and Torben Schuffert, as well as Burns Lake Athlete Danny Tress will travel to the games with snowshoe coach Sandra Schuffert and mission staff Gale Jones and Tina Giesbrecht.
Coming to Kamloops February 2 to 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.
Ann Forbes is excited about meeting “my friends again,” and Torben Schuffert is trying his new distance, a 5km race, for the first time.
“It will be hard, but I think I can do it” Schuffert said.
The 2023 SOBC Games athletes will compete 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 provincial games through their performances in regional qualifiers held from January to May 2022. The athletes 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 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.”
SOBC reminds members of the public, they 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 2023 SOBC Winter Games stories, photos, and more at www.sobcgameskamloops.ca
Up next for SOBC
• February 3 to 5: Tim Hortons Special Olympics Donut
Tim Hortons is bringing back its treat that changes lives and builds inclusion. When supporters buy this delicious donut, 100 per cent of the proceeds go directly to local Special Olympics community programs, supporting more than 41,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across Canada.
• February 18 to March 5: Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC (#Plunge4SOBC)
Participants can take a dip in frigid winter waters at in-person events or get cold and creative at home. Presented in partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOBC, this frigid and fun event raises funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC.