City of Medicine Hat eager to host 2026 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat is pleased to confirm Special Olympics Canada has approved Medicine Hat as the host city for the 2026 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.

The City of Medicine Hat was slated to host the games in 2022, but COVID impacts resulted in a cancellation. The Medicine Hat Alberta Games Society resubmitted a bid for consideration for the 2026 event. Games Organizing Committee Chairman Brian Varga was honoured when his team received the news.

“This is great news for our community. We will prove that Medicine Hat was the right choice for the host city,” he said. “The work starts now and all of us, the board, the volunteers and the community will strive to make this the best games ever.”

City of Medicine Hat Mayor, Ted Clugston, shared the excitement.

“Hosting an event like this is a tremendous opportunity. The benefit to our residents and businesses is significant, and we are looking forward to showcasing our beautiful city to visiting athletes, coaches, staff and families,” said Mayor Clugston.

“Special Olympics Canada is thrilled Medicine Hat will be the home of our 2026 Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Canada CEO Sharon Bollenbach. “Having previously hosted Special Olympics events, we know Medicine Hat will go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional Games experience for the hundreds of athletes participating at Special Olympics Canada’s signature sport competition.”

According to Blair McIntosh, Special Olympics Canada’s VP Sport, Medicine Hat submitted a strong bid focused on “the care and comfort of our athletes.”

“The bid established that the community could meet or exceed all the facility requirements, accommodations, food and transportation that will enable our athletes to compete to the best of their ability,” said McIntosh. “There was a clear sign of tremendous support from community volunteers and both municipal and provincial government. These Games will provide not only an incredible opportunity to showcase it’s a great community, but will also provide substantial economic impact to the City of Medicine Hat. The Special Olympics Canada Summer Games 2018 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia generated an economic impact of $8.6M in the Antigonish region and $12.6M Canada wide.”

The Special Olympics Canada Summer Games is a national sporting event for Canadian athletes with an intellectual disability. To compete, each athlete must qualify at their local and provincial/territorial levels before moving on to compete in one of nine sports featured at the Summer Games, which includes athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, powerlifting, soccer, softball and swimming. Alternating between the Special Olympics Canada Summer and Winter Games every two years, cities across Canada have the opportunity to bid on hosting the National Games.

The Special Olympics Canada Summer Games Medicine Hat 2026 will be the qualifying event for athletes to represent Special Olympics Team Canada at the Special Olympics World Games in 2027.

Read the full release from Special Olympics Canada.

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