The 2022 Donate Life Transplant Games will be held in San Diego, officials from the Transplant Life Foundation announced. The event will be held from July 29 through August 3 with thousands of transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, those awaiting transplant, transplant professionals, supporters and spectators coming to the Southern California destination.
The Transplant Games were founded in 1990 and have been held biennially in various cities around the United States. The 2020 event has been rescheduled to July 16–21, 2021, in New Jersey with the opening ceremony scheduled for the Prudential Center in Newark and other events at the Meadowlands Complex.
“The decision to bring the Transplant Games to this community was made easier by the tremendous efforts of the SDCCU Holiday Bowl team in putting together an outstanding bid,” said Bill Ryan, president and chief executive officer of the Transplant Life Foundation. “The rich landscape and scenic beauty of the area enhances an unparalleled group of venues suitable for our transplant families. Add to this the chance to promote the efforts of major transplant centers like UC San Diego Health, Sharp HealthCare and Scripps Health allows us to promote our mission of increasing awareness to the health benefits of organ, eye and tissue donation.”
This six-day festival event includes 20 athletic and recreational competitions for recipients and living donors as well as full array of special events and programming. Competition is open to anyone who has received a solid organ transplant, bone marrow donation and a limited number of corneal transplant and tissue recipients with events such as a 5K run, badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, pickleball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
“We at the SDCCU Holiday Bowl are so proud that we were successful in securing the bid for this prestigious event for San Diego,” said Holiday Bowl CEO Mark Neville. “Our mission is to generate tourism and visibility for the San Diego region. The Transplant Games is going to be a tremendous event for the national transplant community and San Diego’s tourism industry.”
Lead partners along with the Holiday Bowl include the San Diego Tourism Authority, Lifesharing, UC San Diego Health, Sharp HealthCare, Scripps Health and Novartis.
“Hosting the Transplant Games is great news for our region as we look to the recovery of the tourism industry,” said Julie Coker, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “But today’s announcement is about more than the economic boost these games provide. It is what it says about our community, as well. San Diegans are known to give back, to work together and to be resilient. Those are the very values that define the transplant community. So, we look forward to welcoming the thousands of participants and their families in 2022 for a week-long celebration of their resiliency—and of ours.”