SOC Flag Raising - Feb 18.2020

Flag Raising for Special Olympics; Games Just One Week Away

Community Encouraged to Cheer on Athletes

THUNDER BAY, ON, February 18, 2020 – Games organizers and supporters gathered for a flag raising ceremony at City Hall Tuesday, exactly one week away from the start of the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020, presented by Newmont Musselwhite. Games Partner, the City of Thunder Bay was on hand for the ceremony and noted that the Special Olympics flag will remain up for the duration of the Games. Also on hand, was an enthusiastic crew of local Special Olympics athlete volunteers, who will act as the ‘Cheer Squad’ throughout the week of competition.

“The Cheer Squad will help to keep our athletes motivated as they compete in pursuit of their sports dreams,” said Barry Streib, Chair of the Games Organizing Committee. “We invite the entire community of Thunder Bay to join them by coming out to our various venues to cheer on competing athletes.”

The City of Thunder Bay has been a critical partner of the Games since the first day of planning. City employees and members of Council will be seen among the fans cheering on athletes throughout the Games.

“We are so proud and excited to be hosting the nation in our wonderful city on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “Along with the Games’ volunteers and officials, our businesses and citizens look forward to welcoming everyone to our City with a spirit of friendship, respect and generosity, all of which the Special Olympics have come to signify.”

Taking place February 25-29, the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games will welcome over 1,200 athletes, coaches and mission staff from across Canada, alongside more than 800 family members and friends. Expected to have an economic impact of $7.2 million for the City of Thunder Bay, the Games will also serve to highlight the city as a high quality event location and prime tourist spot.

“Numerous sponsors, including our presenting sponsor Newmont Musselwhite, and over 1,000 volunteers are helping to bring this wonderful week of competition to life and we are incredibly grateful for their support,” said Streib. “It is a beautiful touch to have our flag flown at City Hall throughout the Games to signify the importance of the event to our community. We hope everyone enjoys the spirit of our Games and experiences moments of pure heart, pure joy, pure commitment and pure inspiration. We look forward to an exciting week of competition and unforgettable memories.”

The Games will see Special Olympics athletes compete across eight sports including: alpine skiing, five-pin bowling, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, speed skating and snowshoeing. The week will officially kick off with the Opening Ceremony, a ticketed and sold out event, which will be live streamed starting at 6:45pm ET on Tuesday, February 25. The streaming link will be available on the Games website.

To stay up-to-date on activities throughout the week, follow the Games Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages @SOCgames2020. To donate and for more information, including the competition schedule, visit


About The Games

The Special Olympics Canada Winter Games are a multi-sport national event for athletes with an intellectual disability. The Games will be hosted in Thunder Bay, Ontario from February 25 to 29, 2020 and will welcome over 1,200 athletes, coaches and mission staff from across Canada. The Games will include competition in eight official Special Olympics sports: alpine skiing, five-pin bowling, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating. These national games are the qualifying event for athletes to become members of Team Canada attending the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Learn more at

For more information, please contact:

Ashleigh Quarrell
Media Lead, Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020
Phone: (807) 627-7240

Doug Henry
Games Manager, Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020
Phone: (807) 633-1516

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