Calgary has a long legacy of hosting major sporting events, including the 1988 Winter Olympics, and the city is internationally known for its impressive sport infrastructure from WinSport to the Olympic Oval. Athletes at the 2024 Special Olympic Canada Winter Games in Calgary will compete for their spot at the 2025 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

The Games are set to deliver an economic impact of more than $10 million as more than 4,000 spectators, coaches, support staff and athletes converge in Calgary, boosting hotel bookings and increasing activity at local businesses. The success of the Games is driven by Alberta’s outstanding volunteer community, with more 1,500 dedicated volunteers stepping up to support this life-shaping experience for Canada’s Special Olympians.

“Alberta is ready to host Canada’s top competitors for the 2024 Canada Special Olympic Games. Hosting these Games gives the opportunity to Canada and Alberta’s Special Olympians to knock down barriers and champion inclusion in sport. The Games will also leave a lasting impact in Alberta with more than 1,500 volunteers stepping up to be a part of the outstanding legacy these Special Olympians are leaving in our province and country. Good luck to all the coaches, support staff and athletes competing this week!”

Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport

Special Olympians qualify for the Games through provincial and territorial tournaments. Almost 100 Special Olympians from Alberta will be set for glory, having the home-province advantage while competing for gold across eight different events including curling, floor hockey and speedskating. Alberta’s government is supporting the Games by providing $650,000 in funding toward their planning, staging and delivery.  

“Tourism Calgary is thrilled to have the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games as part of our exciting winter event lineup. These Games will attract thousands of spectators, participants and event staff from outside our city, benefiting many local businesses during a typically slower time of year. Not only that, they offer the opportunity to enhance the spirit of inclusion in our community by creating awareness about inclusive hiring of people with intellectual disabilities through the Games legacy program – something that Tourism Calgary is honoured to be a part of.”

Carson Ackroyd, senior vice-president, sales, Tourism Calgary

“We are absolutely thrilled to officially open the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024 thanks to the incredibly generous support of our government, corporate and sport partners. Today, the spotlight rightfully shines on every athlete in the field of play. Through the support of more than 1,500 gracious volunteers, it is our mission for each of these 800 athletes from across the country to have the experience of a lifetime and benefit from the life-changing opportunities and experiences at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games while leaving a legacy of inclusion – from the classroom to the workplace.”

Karen Dommett, general manager, Games Organizing Committee

The Special Olympics exemplifies the power of sport in removing barriers, promoting inclusion and showcasing the unique abilities of every participant in sport. The Games are a testament to the countless hours of training and hard work put in by every athlete, coach and staff member. Albertans can tune into the Games on the Special Olympics Canada YouTube channel.

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