The 2017 World Dwarf Games will be taking over the Royal City next week. Over 400 Athletes from 20+ countries will be competing in over 14 sports including : Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Marksmanship, Swimming, Powerlifting, , Track and Field Events, Floor Hockey, Boccia, Table Tennis and “Kurling”, which is a form of Curling.
Beginning 24 years ago in 1993 and hosted every four years, this marks the seventh edition of the olympic styled games, having been previously hosted in Chicago, Peterborough (England), Paris, Belfast, East Lansing, and Toronto in 2001.
The Games begin with an opening ceremony at Alumni Stadium on August 4th 7:00pm.
People of all ages and abilities compete, from elite athletes (including several paralympians) to TV and movie stars, to first-time competitors. Athletes are separated into four divisions including “Futures” for those aged 6 and under, to “Masters” aged 35 and up.
Athletes can compete in teams representing their home countries or as members of a mixed-country team. Competitors are also organized by dwarfism classification, based on body proportions since there are more than 200 different kinds of dwarfism.
Heather Anderson, who has a 19-year old son with Dwarfism, placed a bid for Canada to host the games with a group she headed, and with support from Little People of Ontario. She says she expects this year’s event to be the biggest in the games’ 24 year History.
Anderson says she selected Guelph and it’s university campus for two key reasons: One being the central location of the city making it close enough for international athletes to take in landmarks in areas like Toronto and Niagara Falls, secondly because of the university’s reputation for being a caring and open community.
Admission is FREE and spectators are welcome to attend the games, however they are reminded to be respectful of the athletes.
Anderson says there are events that will have limited seating for spectators (such as badminton, due to the number of courts being run at the same time) and the best way to spectate, is to simply volunteer and be one of the court referees or judges in the competitions.
If you would like to volunteer your time and help out the World Dwarf Games, you can email Heather and the committee at VolunteerWDG2017@Gmail.com