Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum was present in the announcement. He says that he is excited to bring together athletes, coaches, and families for the special occasions.
The mayor says he is excited to see the athletes in action and extends his invitation for the community to get involved.
“It’s fitting that Surrey host this event because it is a fitting leader in accessibility and inclusiveness for all.” -Doug McCallum, Surrey Mayor
The Surrey Special Olympics will need to enlist the help of up to 1,100 event volunteers. Details about volunteer registration and games venues will be announced in the coming weeks.
Ryan Canuel, a 21 year-old Special Olympic athlete from Surrey, addressed reporters today about how he felt about competing in his hometown. In 2021, he will compete in track and field, but he is also an athlete and mentor for floor hockey and powerlifting. Having high-functioning autism, he used to have difficulties making friends and connections. He says that Special Olympic Games serve as a gateway to empowerment for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
“These games are not just a marker of how far you make it in the competitive environment,” says Canuel. “The Special Olympic Games teach people to persevere and get through strenuous periods. They break stigmas and give individuals with intellectual disabilities the knowledge to advance life skills.” -Ryan Canuel, Special Olympic athlete
Canuel is one among numerous B.C. special athletes who will compete in Surrey to be able to qualify for the 2023 World Special Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
The 21 year-old made known his intentions of making history. He intends to the first Canadian Special Olympian to internationally achieve titles in the ten, five, and three kilometer run races.
The top performing athletes in Surrey will be pursuing the opportunity to advance on national and international levels of competition.