The 2018 Transplant Games run from Thursday, Aug. 2, through Tuesday, Aug. 7. The six-day event is more than an athletic event. It highlights the critical importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation, while celebrating the lives of organ donors and recipients. An estimated 6,000 athletes and transplant supporters will be attending the games, bringing in an estimated $8-10 million in economic benefit to Utah.
“The Transplant Games are a great opportunity to let donor families know how grateful we are,” said Dawn Black, a liver transplant recipient who’s competing in this year’s games. “I think it gives them a little peace of mind knowing that their loved one was able to help so many different people with their selfless act of organ donation.”
Volunteers are needed to support the more than 21 sporting events, as well as the opening and closing ceremony, the athlete village, and additional events scheduled throughout the week.
Anyone 16 years and older is eligible to volunteer for the games. Volunteers can sign up online at https://2018transplantgamesvolunteersislc.my-trs.com. After registering as a volunteer, they can select a number of four-hour shifts. Volunteer opportunities range from welcoming athletes and guests to events at the Salt Palace Convention Center to setting up or taking down equipment for some of the events.
“One of the best things about organ transplantation is that the end goal is to restore people’s lives to normal,” said Richard Gilroy, MD, medical director of heptatology and liver transplantation at Intermountain Medical Center. “The Transplant Games are an illustration of how normal people can be.”
The opening ceremony is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, at Smith’s Ballpark, 77 West 1300 South.
Sporting events are scheduled at the following venues: the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center, the Fairmont Aquatic Center, Meadowbrook Golf Course, and Bonwood Bowling Alley. All track & field events will be held at West High School. Tennis and racquetball will be held at the Salt Lake Tennis & Health Club and Redwood Recreation Center, respectively.
Anyone interested in signing up as a volunteer should visit https://2018transplantgamesvolunteersislc.my-trs.com and complete the requested information.
The 2018 Donate Life Transplant Games are hosted locally by Intermountain Donor Services, Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health Care, Utah Sports Commission, VA Hospital of Salt Lake City, and Visit Salt Lake.
Thousands of organ recipients, donors, and their families will converge on Salt Lake City to compete in the 2018 Donate Life Transplant Games of America in August — and volunteers are needed to help make these games the best ones yet.