The BC Games Society announced the 19 sports for the Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games. Up to 1,667 athletes will compete in archery, badminton, basketball (Special Olympics and wheelchair), biathlon, curling, diving, figure skating, gymnastics, hockey (female), judo, karate, netball, ringette, rhythmic gymnastics, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, freestyle skiing and speed skating. Athletes with a disability will compete in basketball, wheelchair basketball, figure skating, skiing-alpine, and skiing-cross country.
The BC Games provide a valuable multi-sport competition opportunity for young athletes and are the first step on the path to national and international success. At the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, 18 BC Games alumni were part of the Canadian team including medalists Kelsey Serwa (ski cross), Denny Morrison (speed skating), and Josh Dueck (para alpine).
“Attending the BC Games is a significant step in an athlete’s development,” said Kelly Mann, president and CEO of the BC Games Society. “The international success we have seen from B.C. athletes speaks volumes to the opportunities they have been given through the provincial sport system and the BC Games.”
The sports in the BC Winter Games are led by provincial sport organizations who have demonstrated their commitment to athlete development, coaching certification, and officials’ training. Notable changes since the 2014 BC Winter Games include the return of rhythmic gymnastics and the addition of Special Olympians to the figure skating competition.
“This is a great opportunity for the rhythmic gymnastics community to be involved in the BC Winter Games,” said Adrienne Arnold, president of the BC Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation. “We have worked hard to ensure our organization met the BC Games core sport criteria and we are confident that our participation at the Games will help grow the sport and provide our athletes, coaches, and officials with a valuable competitive and learning experience.”