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Corner Brook Set to Welcome Special Olympics Athletes from Across Canada

The Special Olympics Canada 2016 Winter Games set to kick off March 1, 2016 for 5 days of intense competition

/EIN News/ -- CORNER BROOK, NL, March 1, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Special Olympics Canada welcomes over 650 athletes and 250 coaches and officials to Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador for the Special Olympics Canada 2016 Winter Games. The Games, kicking off with what will be a spectacular Opening Ceremonies on March 1, run until March 5 throughout Corner Brook and the surrounding area. This is the first time a Special Olympics National Games has taken place in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"As Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, the Special Olympics are dear to me as they provide meaningful opportunities for Canadians with intellectual disabilities to compete in sport," said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough. "I hope all the athletes, coaches and volunteers at the Special Olympics Canada 2016 Winter Games get the very most out of their Games experience—competition, fun and new friendships. The Government of Canada is proud to be providing more than $5.6 million to Special Olympics Canada in 2015–16 to help the organization deliver quality sport programming. This is making a difference in the lives of over 40,000 athletes with an intellectual disability."

The Special Olympics Canada 2016 Winter Games will feature 7 sports: alpine skiing, cross country skiing, figure skating, speed skating, floor hockey, curling and snowshoeing. Events will be taking place at the Corner Brook Civic Centre, Corner Brook Curling Club, Blow Me Down Provincial Park and Marble Mountain Ski Resort.

"Special Olympics Canada is excited to have our 2016 Winter Games in Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time. We are grateful for the commitment and support of the 2016 Games Organizing Committee, who has embraced the spirit of our Games and welcomed us to their beautiful province," said Sharon Bollenbach, Chief Executive Officer, Special Olympics Canada. "Our athletes are excited to showcase their skills, tenacity, determination and passion, which is a result of years of hard work and commitment to their sport. Let the Games begin!"

The Opening Ceremonies take place March 1 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Corner Brook Civic Centre. The Opening Ceremonies will feature performances by local artists including Newfoundland and Labrador band, The Navigators.

For the full competition and events schedule, visit the Corner Brook 2016 website – www.cornerbrook2016.com
All competitions and events including the Opening Ceremonies are open to the public. If you're in the Corner Brook area, please feel free to come out and watch our athletes compete! You can follow all the action at the Special Olympics Canada 2016 Winter Games on social media through the official Games account @Cornerbrook2016 or on Special Olympics Canada's account @SpecialOCanada.

About Special Olympics Canada
Established in 1969, the Canadian chapter of this international movement is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through the transformative power and joy of sport. Operating out of sport clubs in 12 provincial and territorial Chapters, this grassroots movement reaches beyond the sphere of sports to empower individuals, change attitudes and build communities. From two-year-olds to mature adults, more than 40,000 athletes with an intellectual disability are registered in Special Olympics' year-round programs across Canada. They are supported by more than 19,000 volunteers, including more than 14,000 trained coaches.

About the Special Olympics Canada 2016 Winter Games
More than 650 athletes, 250 coaches and staff and hundreds of friends and  family will descend on Corner Brook from March 1-5, 2016 for the first national Special Olympics event to ever take place in Newfoundland and Labrador. Athletes will compete in seven sports: cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, figure skating, speed skating, curling, floor hockey and snowshoeing. Complete schedules and information can be found at cornerbrook2016.com.

Media across the country are encouraged to register in advance to obtain their accreditation and/or to be added to the media distribution list which will receive daily updates on 2016 Games activities, athletes' results and exclusive materials and advisories. 

CONTACT: For more information contact:
         Melanie Callahan 
         Director, Communications and Marketing 
         Games Organizing Committee
         mcallahan@grenfell.mun.ca
Distribution channels: Education, Sports, Fitness & Recreation