Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Backgrounder

Special Olympics Athlete's Oath:

Let me win.
But if I cannot win,
let me be brave in the attempt.

Since 1980, Special Olympics BC (SOBC), a registered charitable organization, has provided high-quality sports programs and competitions to meet the needs and interests of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Our mission is to help them enrich their lives and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences.

These sports opportunities provide athletes with far more than the physical benefits of improved health and athletic ability. The participation in sports provides opportunities for athletes to develop social skills, cultivate friendships, strive for and achieve goals, and increase their self-esteem – ultimately enriching lives.

In addition to year-round sports programs, SOBC offers athletes opportunities to compete at the regional, provincial, national and international level through a four-year competition cycle for summer and winter sports.

Special Olympics ensures that even at the top-level World Games competition, athletes of all ability levels have an opportunity to compete on a level playing field through a “divisioning” process. This means there may be eight or nine gold, silver, and bronze medal winners in a single event such as the athletics 100-metre race. An athlete who runs the 100-metre race in 12 seconds may place first, but so may an athlete who runs it in one minute if s/he is the fastest in the heat.

Click here for more information about SOBC.

SOBC | quick facts

  • More than 4,600 athletes in 55 communities across B.C.
  • Athletes range in age from two to 89
  • More than 3,900 volunteers
  • Winter sports: alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating
  • Summer sports: 5-pin bowling, 10-pin bowling, aquatics (swimming), athletics (track and field), basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, and softball
  • Youth programs for children and youth with intellectual disabilities ages two to 18: Active Start, FUNdamentals, Sport Start
  • Health programming