Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton is looking forward to having the Special Olympics Alberta Summer games in the city in 2025.
Clayton says she was excited to receive the flag and be awarded the 2025 event in Sherwood Park at the end of February. She explains what is important about the the Special Olympics is how they are dedicated to enriching the lives of Albertans with disabilities through the power and the joy of sport.
“It was such an uplifting experience to attend the closing ceremonies… and in the summer of 2025, having those athletes in Grande Prairie is a great opportunity,” Clayton says.
READ MORE: Grande Prairie to host 2025 Special Olympics Alberta Summer Games
Though she has a different part to play during the upcoming event, Mayor Clayton says taking in events at the 2015 Special Olympics Winter Games as a spectator left a lasting impression.
“I remember the community engagement was significant, I was (and am) a Rotarian at the time, and our Rotary Clubs were really involved,” Clayton says. “Anywhere you’d go to watch one of these 10 sports you’d just leave with a smile on your face… you really will just be so inspired, and it really leaves that feeling of joy inside,”
She adds the City of Grande Prairie prides itself on being a ‘games city’ with multiple events scheduled in the coming years including Alberta Winter Games in 2024. Clayton says these sorts of events are excellent opportunities to highlight the city’s facilities, along with “our giving nature and the community pride we have.”