Powell River will be well represented at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games floor hockey tournament.

Coach Tarra Tipton along with players Robert Lang, Tanya Norman, and Andrew Swindlehurst are part of a BC Vipers squad that’s headed to the Games in Thunder Bay, Ont.

From Feb. 25 to 29, Special Olympics BC’s largest-ever provincial winter team will pursue personal bests at the Games. 

All told, 143 athletes with intellectual disabilities, 42 volunteer coaches, and 13 mission staff from 42 communities around the province will represent Special Olympics Team BC.

Team BC will be competing in eight sports in Thunder Bay: 5-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating. 

This is the first time 5-pin bowling will be part of the National Winter Games, having previously been part of the summer sport cycle.

Special Olympics Team BC 2020 fast facts

  • 143 athletes with intellectual disabilities
  • 42 volunteer coaches
  •  13 mission staff
  • 42 B.C. communities represented
  •  8 sports: 5-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, speed skating
  •   14: age of youngest Team BC athlete
  •  74: age of oldest Team BC athlete
  • More than 55 athletes will be competing at National Games for the first time

The Special Olympics Games cycle operates on a four-year cycle for both summer and winter sports. 

Athletes compete in regional events and then Provincial Games to advance to National Games, and Special Olympics Canada Games are the qualifiers for international Special Olympics competition.