2018 Donate Life Transplant Games to be held in Salt Lake City

Utah Sports Commission Salt Lake City hosts Transplant games8,000 Organ, Eye, and Tissue Recipients, Donors, Donor Families and Supporters bring their Message to Salt Lake City in August 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (November 3, 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 August 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 a 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.”



The Utah Sports Commission, a not-for-profit 501c6 business league and Utah Sports Commission Foundation, a not-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization, are governed by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees consisting of statewide sports, business, community, and government leaders. The Sports Commission was created to be a catalyst for Utah in its Olympic legacy efforts and to help enhance Utah’s economy, image and quality of life through the attraction, promotion and development of national and international sports. The Sports Commission works closely with communities, sports entities, and organizations to provide event services ranging from the bid process, on-site logistics, volunteer coordination, sponsorships and promotional opportunities and other related services. For more information, visit www.utahsportscommission.com


The Donate Life Transplant Games is a multi-sport festival event produced by the Transplant Games of America®, a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to promote organ, eye, and tissue donation. The organization based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan brings awareness to the tremendous advances in the field of transplantation and in the development of immune-suppressant drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. For more information visit www.transplantgamesofamerica.org



Intermountain Donor Services (IDS) is a federally designated, nonprofit community service organization dedicated to the recovery and transplantation of organs and tissues. IDS serves Utah, southeastern Idaho, western Wyoming, and Elko Nevada encompassing 3.4 million residents, 87 hospitals, and four transplant centers. IDS performs its procurement role, combined with community awareness and education. For more information visit www.idslife.org


Visit Salt Lake is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a vibrant, modern destination brimming with unexpected dining, lodging, nightlife and entertainment options, a destination well suited for convention and leisure travel alike.  In partnership with Salt Lake County, Visit Salt Lake’s mission is to improve the area economic by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors while being a leader in environmental responsibility.  For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, go to www.VisitSaltLake.com

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