Gary Pollen (left) and Joey Lemp are among the Special Olympics BC - Vernon athletest heading to the Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops. (roger knox/morning star)

Special Olympians off to Games

2017 SOBC Games set for Kamloops with largest field in Games’ history

Athletes from Special Olympics B.C. – Vernon will be among the record field for the 2017 SOBC Summer Games set for July 6-8 in Kamloops.

Close to 1,300 athletes from B.C. and Yukon, supported by more than 350 volunteer coaches and mission staff, will gather for the largest SOBC Games to date. The 2017 Games will feature exciting competition and inspiring displays of sportsmanship in the 11 SOBC summer sports: 5- and 10-pin bowling, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball and swimming.

Among those representing Vernon are former Games gold medalists Gary Pollen, 27 (basketball), and swimmer Joey Lemp, 26.

“I’m hoping to win gold and two silver medals again,” said Lemp of his previous Games experience in Langley. “I like meeting all the athletes.”

Pollen won gold in softball when the Games were held in Penticton.

“I play both basketball and softball,” said Pollen, who will focus on the hardcourt in Kamloops. “I’m excited to be going again. I’m going to have fun.”

At these Games, athletes will be competing for the chance to advance to the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, N.S. Those National Games will be the qualifier for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.

Competing from Vernon will be:

Aquatics – Lexie Van Oyen; Joey Lemp; Glen Fraser; Christie Jewell;

Track and Field – Elizabeth Isbister; Colby Bell; Steven Schwebbach; Kyle Borden-Letkeman;

Powerlifting – Steven Linemayr; Corey Sturgeon;

Basketball – Katelyn Oliver; Gary Pollen; Erin Murphy; Ashley Phillips;

Softball – Hunter Ashby; Jeremiah (Jay) Brooke; Rob Brown; Marcus Carberry; Gord Cole; Len Ferguson; Carl Hoath; Al Bifford; Jamie Potter; Erika Wamsteeker; Jen Polson; Jay Megyesi;

Coaches – Lisa Jeffries (Aquatics); Cheryl Friesen, Janny Jung, Sydney Hofer (Track and Field); Glen Schwebback (Powerlifting); Cathy Sim, Gord Tung (Softball).

Kamloops is the first community to host back-to-back SOBC Winter and Summer Games.