Media Release – 11th World Transplant Winter Games 2020

Banff, Canada to host inspirational World Transplant Winter Games!

It is hard to think of a more inspirational ski destination than Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.

And it is equally hard to think of a more inspirational ski event than the World Transplant Winter Games. This international event brings people saved by the gift of life together for a week of celebration, competition and gratitude to donors and their families.

The World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) today announced that the next World Transplant Winter Games would be held at Banff and Lake Louise in February 2020. It is only the second time in the history of the World Transplant Winter Games that they have been held outside of Europe.

Canadian Transplant Association President, Brenda Brown noted their excitement to be hosting the next World Transplant Winter Games. “The Canadian Transplant Association is extremely excited to welcome transplant athletes, donor families and supporters from around the world to beautiful Banff, Alberta to experience the World Transplant Winter Games in February 2020. What better opportunity to showcase the Rockies and demonstrate to the world that organ transplantation works, as post-transplant patients illustrate how grateful they are for the second chance at life while competing in sport.”

WTGF President, Chris Thomas, formally thanked the Canadian Transplant Association for its agreement to host this world celebration of organ donation and transplantation. “The WTGF is committed to ‘more transplant recipients, more active, more often. That means giving recipients more opportunity to participate in our world-class events and delivering the Winter Games in Canada helps grow our message and fulfil our mission,” Mr Thomas said. “Remaining healthy and physically fit around a transplanted organ are crucial to long-term survival. These recipients have been given a precious resource and the WTGF is committed to providing recipients with practical and inspiring choices to getting and staying fit. The World Transplant Winter Games complements our Summer Games and other programs like Fit for Life to ensure physical wellbeing is a top priority for recipients.”

Former WTGF President, Mr Olivier Coustere, will head up the WTGF Winter Games Committee and work closely with Canadian Transplant Association’s Brenda Brown and Dave Smith to deliver an outstanding event.

Mr Coustere, kidney recipient, said it was inspiring to see the level of competition and skill exhibited at the World Transplant Winter Games. “This is not just a world class transplant event – but a world class skiing event in its own right. Many of our recipients have achieved a high level of success in their pursuit of winter games and once again it demonstrates that transplant recipients can achieve anything in life,” Mr Coustere said.

Former Canadian Transplant Association President, Mr Dave Smith, who received a kidney from his brother in 1997, said the Canadian Transplant Association was proud to host this event and showcase Banff and Lake Louise to the world. “Speaking with recipients around the world, Banff and Lake Louise are on many people’s bucket lists. They are world class and provide skiers with challenging powder dry snow. And next February they will host our very own transplant games. It is going to be awesome,” Mr Smith said.

The 11th World Transplant Winter Games will be held from Sunday, February 23 to Friday, February 28, 2020.

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