2018 Donate Life Transplant Games to be held in Salt Lake City
November 8, 2016
Gathering in the summer of 2018, thousands of individuals touched by organ, tissue and corneal donation will experience the sights and sounds of Salt Lake City Aug. 2 – 7, 2018 for the Donate Life Transplant Games. The event will involve an estimated 8,000 visitors participating in over 20 competitions and dozens of ancillary activities throughout our community. The Transplant Games is expected to provide $8 million of economic activity to the region. A local organizing committee will manage the event under the auspices of the Transplant Games of America with extensive support from local partners Utah Sports Commission, Intermountain Donor Services, the University of Utah Solid Organ Transplant Program, and Visit Salt Lake.
The biennial Transplant Games aim to raise awareness for the life-altering benefits brought about through the transplantation of organs, tissue, and corneas. Organ transplants save thousands of lives each year and the Transplant Games celebrate the gift of life by honoring recipients, donors and donor families. The event also provides a platform for education on organ and tissue donation. Currently, over 120,000 people in the United States are currently awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. It is estimated that over 20 individuals die each day waiting for an organ. Donor registry lists in every state need continued growth.
"Hosting the Transplant Games is a big win for the state of Utah," said President & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission Jeff Robbins. "It will bring a new group of visitors to experience Utah, provide significant economic impact to the state, and bring awareness that donation and transplantation not only can be life-saving, but can allow individuals to continue participating in athletic competition."
Salt Lake City was selected to host the event because of the wide array of venues, lodging options, public transportation, and accessibility from other markets.
"Salt Lake City's exceptional bid clearly demonstrated an overwhelming commitment to the rich history of the Transplant Games and the cause of donation and transplantation," said Bill Ryan, President and CEO of the Transplant Games of America. "The local medical community, Intermountain Donor Services, the regions organ procurement organization, played a great role in the selection of Salt Lake City for the Transplant Games. The leadership and professionalism of the Utah Sports Commission helped to lead the local team and create an unparalleled excitement in bringing the Games to this community."
"We have witnessed firsthand the tremendous experiences and opportunities the Games provide organ, eye, and tissue transplant recipients, living donors, and donor family members of all ages," said Tracy Schmidt, Executive Director of Intermountain Donor Services. "We are especially appreciative of the mission of the Games to promote donation and transplantation."