The Special Olympics World Winter Games are just two weeks away and a number of athletes from southern Alberta will compete for Canada in six different sports.

The nine-day competition is being held in Austria and Canada will be represented by the third largest team with 108 athletes and 35 staff and coaches.

The event brings together athletes from 110 countries with intellectual disabilities to compete in nine different Olympic disciplines.

Canada’s athletes will compete in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating.

Figure skaters Benjamin Maeseele and JorDen Tyson along with cross-country skier Sarah McCarthy and speed skater Katie Saunders were at Calgary's City Hall on Wednesday for an official send-off ceremony.

The group is hoping to bring home medals for Canada and says the games offer the opportunity to make new friends with fellow athletes from around the world.

"It's nice to meet new people and know where they are from and what they like to do besides their sports and stuff,” said McCarthy.

“My goals are to beat my times from last worlds and to represent Canada strong again and to have fun,” said Saunders.

"Our Team Canada athletes, coaches and mission staff are well prepared for this year's World Winter Games," said Marian Coulson, Chef de Mission for Special Olympics Team Canada. "The passion and skill level of our team is unmatched. We expect great results at these games and, as always, a lasting impact on communities across the country."

The Special Olympics World Winter Games runs from March 14th to the 25th.

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