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Athletics

Athletics - Special Olympics

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Athletics

The sport of Athletics (Track & Field) has its roots in human prehistory.  These events are among the oldest of all sporting competitions as running, jumping, and throwing are natural and universal forms of human physical expression.  Track and field events were recorded at the ancient Olympic Games and were considered the foremost sport competitions at the 1896 Summer Olympic Games.

Athletics Facts

  • Outdoor tracks are 400m with 8 lanes
  • Start and finish lines are   5cm wide
  • All events are measured in metric units
  • Pentathon has 5 events – 800m, 80m hurdles, long jump, high jump and shot put

Generally athletics competitions are contested by individual athletes challenging each other to decide a single winner.  Running race events are won with the fastest time, while jumping and throwing events are won with the greatest distance or height.  Combined events, such as the pentathlon, feature multiple events where points are awarded and totaled with the winner earning the most points.  Team relays are always an exiting part of an athletics meet and are usually scheduled as the final events on the last day of the competition.

The athletics competition at the BC Summer Games features the top 14 and 15 year old athletes from across the province.  This age group has competed at the BC Summer Games since the first Games in 1978.  Athletes can qualify for up to three individual events and one relay team based on their results at the Zone trial meets.  The BC Games serve as an introduction to multi-sport games for young athletes who will make up the BC Teams for the Royal Canadian Legion Championships and the Canadian Youth Championships in the years following the Summer Games. 

The Athletics competition at the BC Summer Games includes athletes representing Special Olympics BC.  These athletes with an intellectual disability train with qualified coaches for the opportunity to compete at the BC Games.  The Games is an important qualifying event for future national and international competitions.

British Columbia qualifies more athletes to national teams per capita than any other province thanks to the success of the BC Athletics Junior Development program and to the high quality of coaching and officiating within our province.  Notable BC Games alumni include 2008 and 2012 Olympians Dylan Armstrong (Kamloops) and Mike Mason (Nanoose Bay).

BC Athletics is the Provincial Sport Organization responsible for Track & Field, Road Running, Marathons/Ultras, Cross Country/Trail Running and Race Walking.

Special Olympics BC is the provincial organization that provides year-round programs and competition for 4100 athletes with an intellectual disability, in 55 communities, with the support of 3200 trained volunteers.