On behalf of Nova Scotians, Premier Stephen McNeil welcomes the athletes participating in the Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games to our province.
The games will be held in Antigonish, from July 31-Aug. 4. More than 900 athletes will participate in nine sports. They are athletics, bocce, basketball, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, powerlifting, soccer, softball and swimming.
The premier will attend the games’ opening ceremonies on Tuesday, July 31, in Antigonish.
“It is an honour for Nova Scotia to host this event, and I want to welcome the athletes, coaches, friends and family members to our beautiful province and wish all of the athletes the best of luck as they begin their competitions,” said Premier McNeil. “I am personally inspired by these fine athletes every day. They are role models and they motivate us to work harder and, above all, to have fun while doing so.”
The Special Olympics Canada Summer Games is a national sporting event for competitive athletes with intellectual disabilities. Each athlete must qualify at the local and provincial level before coming to the national games. The Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games is also a qualifying event for athletes to represent Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The province invested $1.5 million in the Antigonish games.
“We are proud to support these games which promote and celebrate inclusive communities, showcase athletic accomplishment, and highlight the power of sport to unite us,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Over the next several days, we will see dreams realized, and the culmination of years of training and commitment. And we will be inspired by the human spirit – which knows no limits.”
Organizers estimate the economic impact of the games will be more than $5 million. In addition to the athletes, the games are expected to draw over 3000 spectators, and will also be attended by about 600 volunteers, and 290 coaches, officials and mission staff.
Investment in community and cultural organizations, and promoting a more inclusive and accessible province are vital parts of the province’s culture strategy, Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan. The full plan is online at http://www.novascotia.ca/culture/.