Minister Duncan Congratulates Special Olympics Team Canada 2019 Athletes and Coaches

News release

CALEDON, Ontario, October 12, 2018

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, congratulated the Canadian athletes who will compete at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games (the World Games) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Minister visited the Special Olympics Team Canada training camp, where she also congratulated the Team Canada coaches and celebrated the nomination of three-time Olympics gold medallist Marnie McBean as Honourary Coach for the 2019 Team Canada.

After excelling in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, these athletes are currently participating in training camps in Caledon, Ontario, in preparation for the World Games. More than 100 athletes will be representing Canada at the World Games from March 14 to March 21, 2019.

These Games not only empower the athletes and give them a sense of inclusion and acceptance, they also change the perception of the public toward people with intellectual disabilities.

The Government of Canada is pleased to support our Special Olympics Canada athletes by providing $6,200,760 in 2018–2019. An incremental $16 million over five years, starting in 2018–2019, with $2 million per year ongoing, was announced in Budget 2018 for Special Olympics Canada to sustain its empowering movement, which supports more than 45,087 children, youth and adults in Canada with intellectual disabilities through its extraordinary network of more than 21,479 volunteers.


“After seeing the athletes compete this summer in Nova Scotia, I can’t wait to cheer them on again as they represent Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. Each and every one of these athletes has worked hard to earn their place on the team, and with their honorary coach, coaches and mission staff, they’re going to make all of Canada proud. I congratulate everyone who will be part of Team Canada. We’ll all be cheering for you, from coast to coast to coast. Go Canada Go!”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“On behalf of Special Olympics Canada, I would to congratulate all the athletes for being named to Special Olympics Team Canada 2019! We are proud of each and every team member. I know they will make Canada proud as they represent Canada at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I would also like to officially welcome Marnie McBean as the team’s honorary coach. Marnie’s wisdom and experience will be invaluable to this team and I know the athletes are as thrilled as I am to have her share this journey.”

— Sharon Bollenbach, CEO, Special Olympics Canada

Quick facts

  • The Special Olympics World Summer Games is an international sporting event for competitive athletes with intellectual disabilities. Each athlete must qualify at the national level before competing at the World Games.
  • This is the first time that the Special Olympics World Games are hosted in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Over 500,000 spectators are expected at the Games, in addition to over 7,000 athletes, 2500 coaches, officials and mission staff, and 20,000 volunteers.
  • 24 sports will be featured at the Games and Canadian athletes will take part in nine of them: 10-pin bowling, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer and swimming.

Associated links


Nyree St-Denis
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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