Special Olympics Delaware cancels 2020 Summer Games

NEWARK – Special Olympics Delaware announced on Tuesday that it has canceled the 2020 Summer Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Executive Director Ann Grunert wrote and sent out the following letter to members and supporters of the organization:

“To our many friends,

“In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, we wanted to take a moment and thank each and every one of you for understanding the difficult decisions that have been made to date. Canceling our fundraising and sports events and the many planning and training gatherings that often happen leading up to them is truly disappointing for everyone. The reality for us is – nothing is more important than your health and safety.

“With that thought in mind, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Summer Games.This decision was made keeping in mind the health and safety of every person involved at the Games along with the fact that given the restrictions set forth by Special Olympics Inc. and the State of Delaware, it would be impossible for our athletes and teams to properly train leading up to the games.

“And with the cancellation of the Summer Games, unfortunately all of the festivities around and including the Torch Run are also canceled.”

Ms. Grunert said Special Olympics Delaware is now turning its focus to the coming weeks and months as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Among the many activities planned to recognize this special occasion include:

Athlete health and training initiatives – School of Strength and Fit 5 have already started – but it’s not too late to join at www.sode.org – and, coming soon, it is offering a virtual walk/run/bike/roll challenge open to the entire SODE community of athletes, coaches, families, volunteers and friends.

 50th Anniversary Celebration – While the plan was to kick off the celebration at the 2020 Summer Games, the hope is now to begin the celebration of its 50th anniversary as soon as it is able to come back together as an organization. This will include, among other things, the unveiling of the official 50th anniversary medals and ribbons, designed specifically for Delaware, which will be awarded to all athletes at state competitions during the 2020-21 program year.

Ms. Grunert said, “throughout the process, while working to ensure the safety of athletes, coaches, volunteers, supporters and the entire SODE family, it has realized how much it appreciates each of you and your dedication to our mission – to bring individuals with intellectual disabilities out from behind closed doors and into a community of acceptance and respect. Thank you for being such a valuable partner in this effort.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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