Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

2017 SOBC Summer Games action, excitement underway

7 July 2017

The 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games Opening Ceremony had it all, thrills aplenty and chills from the amazing energy of the athletes, teams, and supporters! "I can't wait to cheer you on! My heart is so full tonight, you inspire all of us!" Honorary General Manager Renee Hopfner of Sobeys told the athletes. Sincere thanks to everyone involved in this terrific party!

Everyone is so excited for competition kicking off and running throughout Friday and Saturday!

Games schedule


Opening Ceremony photos

Media coverage

Kudos to all the amazing Regional teams who entered the Opening Ceremony last night! Please click here to find full team lists and read more about each Region below.

Region 1, from the beautiful Kootenays, entered led bygolfer Erin Thom and softball player Jonathan Robins, both just back from winning medals in alpine skiing at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. This team is 93 members strong, and for the first time ever has at least one athlete from all of 10 Locals in their region attending the Games. This is the largest team ever to attend from the Kootenays. The team, led by Chef de Mission Sheila Hawton, has worked hard and is ready to show their athletic ability as the take on the sports of 5-pin bowling, bocce, soccer, golf, powerlifting, softball and swimming.

Our host Region, Region 2, boasts a 189-member team including 30 athletes from Kamloops who are planning to use their home field advantage to take on the rest of the province! The banner bearers for this team were 5-pin bowler Ashleigh Cummings and soccer player Glen McIntyre. First-time Chef de Mission Sheila Paynter says Region 2 will be sure to thrill the hometown crowd as they participate in all of the 11 Games sports of 5- and 10-pin bowling, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming, and track and field. Many of these athletes and coaches have gone on to represent B.C. at Special Olympics Canada Games and, along with all of the athletes at these Games, hope to place some athletes and coaches on Team BC for the National Bowling Championships in PEI and National Summer Games in Nova Scotia in 2018!

Region 3 is our second-largest team at these Games, with 377 athletes, coaches, and mission staff from the communities of Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Surrey, Ridge Meadows, Abbotsford, Mission, and Langley. Carrying the banner for Region 3 were Nicholas Libera, participating in 5-pin bowling and Abigail Calvert, participating in basketball. The Region 3 team is being led by Chef de Mission Donna Bilous. Fun facts about this team: They will consume 3,016 meals while at the Games, and one of their team members is an amazing 78-year-old! There are a number of talented athletes and leaders on this team, including Marc Theriault who will be competing in his 12th Provincial Games, and Paige Norton who is the 2017 Special Olympics BC Athletic Achievement Award winner. Both will be competing in the sport of track and field at these Games. Region 3 will be participating in all of the 11 sports in these Games.

Region 4 athletes, coaches, and mission staff hail from the cities of Burnaby, Richmond, and Delta. This is the first time Chef de Mission Karen Theriault has led a team, and she is looking forward to supporting the 144 athletes, coaches and mission staff from Region 4 at these Games! They were led into the Opening Ceremony by banner carriers Kelsey Thomson, a 5-pin bowler and winner of the 2017 Special Olympics BC Spirit of Sport Award, and Darrel Armstrong, who just turned 60 and has participated in Special Olympics for 30 years. Darrell will be competing alongside his daughter April in track and field, and his daughter Mary will compete in soccer. Fun fact: This team consists of mission staff who bring a collective of 130 years of volunteering.

With representation from North Vancouver, Vancouver, and Whistler, the Region 5 team will participate in all 11 Games sports! Chef de Mission Darren Inouye is proud to lead “the Mighty 5” with 195 athletes, coaches, and mission staff. For Darren and half of his mission staff this will be their third time working together; for the others it will be a new and exciting experience. A third of this team is from Special Olympics BC – North Shore, and 20 of the Sunshine Coast’s 75 athletes will compete here. Vancouver has athletes in all 11 sports, and the athlete and coach from Whistler are pumped to participate in their second Provincial Games. Carrying the banner for Region 5 are swimmers Taylor Mitchell and Genny Verge.

With 391 members, team Region 6 is the largest at the Games! The team was excited to have powerlifter Tye Cranton and soccer player Daniel Hurl carrying in the banner for Region 6! With representatives from Campbell River, Port Alberni, Victoria, Comox Valley, Nanaimo, Oceanside, Powell River, Cowichan Valley, and Salt Spring Island will participate in all 11 official sports. Chef de Mission Jean Tetarenko is excited to be attending her second Provincial Games in that role. With the largest team, this has been a big task but Jean credits her amazing team for being so supportive and helping to ensure the team has arrived ready to compete!

At 43 people strong, Region 7 is our smallest team, but that just makes them more determined to bring home personal bests! Region 7 spans 500 kilometres from the lovely City of Rainbows, Prince Rupert, to Burns Lake in the beautiful Lake District and have coaches and athletes from all communities in the Region. They are participating in four sports at these Games. This team has members who are father-daughter, mother and daughter, mother-son, and grandmother-granddaughter, and they range in age from 14 to 57! First-time Chef de Mission Tina Giesbrecht is excited to watch this team as they showcase how the many hours of training pays off. Leading the team were banner carriers Luke Smith, a track and field athlete, and swimmer Jamie Alexander.

Region 8, Cariboo-Northeast, is the most northern region in B.C.! This 105-member team traveled 15 hours to get to these Games and are ready for competition. Chef de Mission Tracy Heartt is proud of the effort put forward by athletes, coaches, and mission staff from Prince George, Quesnel, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, 100 Mile House and Williams Lake and looking forward to a great set of Games. The team selected swimmer Kassidy Rutledge and golfer Greg Eveneshen to hold their banner and lead them into the Opening Ceremony.

We are pleased to welcome our friends from the Yukon to these Games. First-time Chef de Mission Brettanie Deal-Porter and her 37-member team travelled from Whitehorse to participate in bocce, golf, soccer, swimming and track and field, and for the first time they also have an athlete set to compete in rhythmic gymnastics. For many this is their first trip to Kamloops and four of those athletes are attending Games for the first time! Carrying the banner for the Yukon were soccer player Jasmin Stange and bocce player Carrie Rudolph.

GO ATHLETES! Good luck in competition Friday and Saturday!!

Games site

SOBC - Kamloops softball coach Mike Ward and athlete Kent Plettl after reading the coach and athlete oaths.

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2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games

Thanks to our generous sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors

City of Kamloops

School District 73


Gold Sponsors

TD Bank Group

Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund

Royal Bank of CanadaRBC Dominion Securities

Sun Life Financial


Silver Sponsors


Interior Savings


Bronze Sponsors 

Binnie Consulting

Domtar - Kamloops

KGHM Ajax Mining Inc.



Healthy Athletes Sponsor

Life Labs


Media Sponsors 



98.3 CIFM Kamloops


Kamloops This Week


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