The World Dwarf Games 2017 began with a grand opening event on Friday August 4th and the games continue until Saturday August 12th, 2017.
There are 420 athletes from 19 countries in Guelph, Ontario, along with families and supporters.
The contingent from the United Kingdom is 78 strong, while the team from New Zealand is two young women.
The event is held every four years and this is the seventh edition since the inauguration in 1993.
Teresa Camilleri is one of the organizers and a possible competitor in the marksmanship event.
In an interview with CBC, she explained that athletes don’t qualify, they participate on the basis of wanting to.
But they are separated according to age, chiefly because of their size.
Camilleri explains that there are 200 forms of dwarfism and for some events they measure participants, sitting, standing, and their arm span.
Guelph University is hosting the athletes, and the games are open to the public at no charge.
But they ask spectators to be respectful, not to stare or gawk.
“Just because we’re small it doesn’t mean we can’t do everything; we have dwarfs who are lawyers, bankers, accountants.” Camilleri said.
The athletes are competing in events including archery, badminton, basketball, marksmanship, swimming, power lifting, track and field, kurling (a form of curling), floor hockey, table tennis, soccer, volleyball and boccia,
- Junior A Division ages 7 to 11.
- Junior B Division is 12 to 15.
- Open starts at over age 15.
- Master, which is 35 and over.