Special Olympics Missouri is officially altering this year’s State Summer Games originally scheduled for June 5-7 in Columbia.
SOMO already announced the cancellation of all of its trainings and events through May 31 due to COVID-19. Since SOMO is a year-round sports organization that requires athletes to train for at least eight weeks before a competition, hosting State Summer Games as originally scheduled was no longer an option.
“If we made the decision to push back Summer Games, that would force us to change our fall sports schedule,” said Susan Stegeman, SOMO president and CEO. “Most of our area competitions for fall sports already have dates and venues scheduled. What may seem like a simple change in moving back Summer Games a month or two, would create giant waves, affecting all fall competitions.
“With the uncertainty of how long this virus will continue to impact our operations, communities, constituents, and partners, we’ve decided to move forward with a series of alternate program opportunities instead.”
Alternative programming options for Special Olympics Missouri athletes
• Planning a virtual State Summer Games that will allow athletes to compete from their own homes. Details are still being ironed out. Will make official announcement on Facebook Live at 6 p.m. May 5.
• Volleyball and powerlifting (Summer Games sports) will move to the State Outdoor Games (Sept. 25-27 in Jefferson City)
• Will host a soccer training and invitational later this fall at the Training for Life Campus
• #SOMOatHome programming has been going strong for a month now with a variety of health & wellness and leadership & life skills trainings every day on our Facebook channel. For more information, visit www.SOMO.org/atHome.
Stegeman added, “While we’re not holding State Summer Games in its usual format, we’re excited that we’re offering all of the sports in some fashion. We thank you for your patience in these unprecedented times.
“We know it’s not easy for anyone right now, but we’re filled with anticipation knowing that when this passes, practices and scheduling will resume and we’ll finally be together again.”
To receive the most up-to-date information on how the coronavirus is affecting Special Olympics Missouri events, please follow us on Facebook and at www.SOMO.org/Coronavirus.
About Special Olympics Missouri
Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 16,900 athletes participate in 16 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.