City Optimistic on Future Planning for Special Olympics
Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat is now consulting with stakeholders and adjusting plans in light of today’s announcement from Special Olympics Canada (SOC) regarding the cancellation of the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games 2022 in Medicine Hat.
With a number of challenges emerging due to COVID-19, including the inability to hold regional competitions in 2020 and the potential challenges with competitions into 2021, SOC elected to cancel the Games acknowledging that the typical pathways that qualify athletes for national competition are not possible.
City representatives expressed both understanding and disappointment in the announcement.
“Of course we are disappointed – both for the athletes and our community,” said Ted Clugston, Mayor of Medicine Hat. “Hosting an event like this is a tremendous opportunity. The benefit to our residents and businesses is significant, and we were looking forward to showcasing our beautiful city to visiting athletes, coaches, staff and families. But with the current challenges and uncertainty in place, we certainly understand the decision.”
Local planners are optimistic that Medicine Hat will still be considered a host for future Games opportunities.
“We worked hard to secure these Games and we’re hopeful that when Special Olympics Canada is able to resume their traditional competitions, we’ll be back in the running as a host city,” said Games Organizing Committee Chair and City Councillor, Brian Varga. “The board, our volunteers and our community will be ready.”
Special Olympics Canada CEO Sharon Bollenbach thanked Medicine Hat for its ongoing dedication to the movement.
“They have been tremendous partners. When National Games return in the future, Special Olympics Canada is very open to considering Medicine Hat as a future host,” said Bollenbach.
To read today’s announcement from SOC, visit https://www.specialolympics.ca/announcement/way-forward.
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