Coronavirus and its impact on Special Olympics Wisconsin

April 1, 2020 Blog

Like every other organization in the country, Special Olympics Wisconsin has continued to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic, making difficult decisions about how to move forward while keeping the health and safety of our communities as a top priority.

On Friday, March 27, we shared the decision to cancel all Special Olympics Wisconsin competitions and practices through the State Summer Games scheduled to take place June 4-6, 2020.

Special Olympics Wisconsin is not alone in making this difficult decision. So far, at least 38 other Special Olympics programs across the country have canceled their State Summer Games events this year.

Because of the seriousness of this pandemic and the sacrifices that will be necessary to minimize its impact on our society, it will require ALL of us doing what we can to help ensure that everyone stays as healthy as possible. We ask that all of the Special Olympics Wisconsin community join us in taking this seriously for the safety of all of our athletes and the safety of our communities at large.

It’s important that we all stay positive as this unfolds. We’ll get through this by supporting each other, practicing safe social distancing, monitoring and following the guidelines of the CDC, checking in on one another, and keeping our community strong via internet and phone technologies.

Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we find creative and remote ways to maintain and even strengthen the connections that are so important to our athletes and communities. To that end, we have created a SOWI Fitness at Home Facebook group for our athletes and supporters during this time. The group will be used to share tips on staying active at home and serve as an inclusive virtual community where people with and without ID can stay fit, happy and connected, all from the comfort of their homes.

While we can’t speculate at this time about what this pandemic means for events beyond the Summer Games, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and its impact on our community. Our hope is that athletes will be able to begin practicing and resuming Special Olympics activities in time for the Outdoor Sports Tournament (OST) at Carroll University scheduled for July 31 – August 1, 2020. In the coming weeks, we will evaluate if we can incorporate some of the Summer Games sports/events into OST should we be able to hold it.

All options will be explored with a decision made by the time athletes are able to begin practicing again. We will update the community as new information comes to light and new decisions are made. We are hopeful that by communities taking this threat seriously and strictly adhering to the guidelines on social distancing, we are collectively turning the tide against the spread of this virus. If this mobilization takes place and this ends sooner rather than later, we look forward to our athletes soon being back in action showing the world what they are capable of.

Stay safe and remain “Brave in the Attempt.”

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