THUNDER BAY – There’s less than a year to go until Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020, and organizers have unveiled the host venues for each of the eight sports athletes will participate in when they arrive in Thunder Bay.
Lakehead University athletic director Tom Warden on Wednesday announced the school will host the floor hockey competition at the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse, and said it was an easy decision to step up for the athletes taking part in the Games.
“It’s such a wonderful initiative for our country, as well as our community, and it meets such a needed purpose,” Warden said.
“The volunteers and just the energy behind this thing is just amazing. We’re just glad we can be a small part and provide venues where we can. We’re actually super honoured to be part of this and we know it’s going to be wonderful.”
Lakehead wasn’t the only venue to step forward.
Loch Lomond Ski Area will host the alpine skiing events, while five-pin bowling will take place at Galaxy Lanes.
Kamview Nordic Centre will hold the cross-country ski races and curling will take place at Fort William Curling Club.
The Thunder Bay Tournament Centre will provide ice for the figure skating competition, while the City of Thunder Bay’s Chapples Golf Course will open up its snow-covered fairways for snowshoeing. Finally, speed skating will be held at Delaney Arena.
Event chair Barry Streib said it’s great to get the venues locked down as early as possible to allow the athletes to get ready for the Games.
“In every sporting event it’s good to know where you’re going to be and what you’ll need to do to compete in a very promising way,” Streib said. “And it just helps our organizing committee to get ahead of schedule, to make sure we know what we have to do in terms of organization.”
Wednesday’s announcement also included the reveal of the first five sport sponsors, who contributed $5,000 apiece in support of the games. They include Keating Insulation (speed skating), Lennox/Enercare (figure skating), Robert’s Plumbing and Sheet Metal Co. (snowshoeing), Taranis Contacting Group (alpine skiing) and TBT Engineering (curling).
Three other sports are still in search of sponsors, Streib said, adding he’s not worried this far ahead of the Games opening.
“We’re not expecting it to take too much longer,” he said.