A Letter from Dr. Frank Hayden

Dear athletes, families and friends,       

Monday January 21, 2019

Welcome to Calgary for the Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games!

As athletes – and families, friends and supporters – you’ve all worked exceptionally hard to get to this level of competition. Just as all other athletes and families before you over the past 50 years, your dedication, drive and commitment continues to impress me. The sky truly is the limit of what you can do.             

As you progress through the various competitions, it’s important to remember that Special Olympics doesn’t exist for Provincial, National or World Games. My intent 50 years ago wasn’t to find the fastest snowshoer or speed skater – it was to transform the lives of individuals with an intellectual disability by making them fitter and healthier.            

As athletes at provincial games, consider yourselves ambassadors for the Special Olympics movement and role models for younger, community-level athletes. Your successes help raise awareness of Special Olympics in your community, so we can reach even more people with an intellectual disability, so they too can experience the transformative power of sport.  

I wish you great success in the competition this weekend. I’m thrilled you are part of Special Olympics in Canada and that you’ve excelled in your sport, making it to the Provincial Games.           

Enjoy your time in Calgary and, as always, be brave in the attempt!            


Dr. Frank Hayden 

Dr. Frank Hayden | Creator Special Olympics

The Special Olympics Commemorative Cauldron

For over 50 years, Special Olympics Athletes have worked hard, trained hard and competed to their personal best at sporting competitions around the world. The 2019 Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games, proudly hosted by the City of Calgary, are once again a testament to the undeniable strength, sport and spirit of every Athlete competing at these Games.

What started as a dream of the Demchuk family almost two years ago, has come together with the kindness and generosity of many. It is because of these amazing supporters recognized below, and along with the creative vision of Calgary Special Olympics Athlete and artist Leonka Kaluha, that Calgary finally has a monument to commemorate the legacy of Special Olympics. This Commemorative Cauldron is dedicated to 50 years of the Special Olympics Movement, and to the many Athletes who train, work and live as proud citizens in the City of Calgary.

Continue reading

Get the Scoop on Josh Petrone

If there is a story to be found Josh Petrone is always ready to get the inside scoop.

Josh has been reporting for Special Olympics Alberta as an athlete reporter for the past five years.

“I discovered I liked writing stories for Special Olympics,” said Josh. “It is many things like finding new stories, taking pictures is cool, and sharing with people is the best feeling.”

Continue reading

Emma Bittorf is Preparing to Tee up for Worlds

Emma Bittorf

Team Canada golfer, with her gold medal in Antigonish

Walking up to the tee, Emma Bittorf is preparing for her first shot of the round. She looks down the fairway and smiles because today is going to be a great round of golf.

Special Olympic Alberta-Calgary golfer Emma Bittorf may just be 15-years-old, but she has already earned her spot on Team Canada and is scheduled make her debut at the Special Olympics World Games next year in Abu Dhabi.

“I was super happy and proud of myself and I found out that I made Team Canada,” said Emma. “[I] was screaming and happy and crying and it was so emotional.”

Emma has only been golfing for six years, but she has incredible skills and that has allowed her to perform well at every competition level.
Continue reading