Suspension of Special Olympics Indiana practices, competitions, and events extended through May 31, 2020; Summer Games to be Impacted
Dear athletes, families, supporters and friends,
As government officials and health care experts across our state, our nation, and the world continue to explore ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, we all must do our best to be a part of the solution.
For the thousands upon thousands of individuals who are a part of Special Olympics Indiana — which exists to break down barriers for people with intellectual disabilities and to bring people together through year-round programs and events centering on sports — doing our part means disrupting our typically-full calendar by postponing or cancelling events and by discouraging the people we serve from taking part in any and all group activities during this difficult time.
With that in mind, I’m writing today to inform you that Special Olympics International has strongly advised us to extend our ongoing suspension of all practices, competitions, and events involving athletes levels through at least May 31, 2020. And I agree with their recommendation.
I’ve made this difficult decision with support from our Board of Directors and Leadership Team and in accordance with the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the Indiana State Department of Health.
Once again, Special Olympics Indiana will cancel or postpone ALL planned in-person activities at the County, Area, and State levels through May, including but not limited to ALPs University and all 10 Area Spring Games.
Furthermore, because the necessary opportunities for training and preparation will no longer be available to competitors this spring, the 2020 Indiana Summer Games will NOT go on as planned on the weekend of June 12-14 in Terre Haute.
We are currently exploring options for rescheduling or hosting a condensed version of our beloved Summer Games later in the year, but those plans are uncertain and will be subject to our ability to safely resume activity in a timely manner without endangering the health of our athletes and volunteers. More details will be communicated when available; in the meantime, rest assured that we will be monitoring the situation closely and will make every effort to resume our regularly-scheduled programming as soon as possible.
I shared this difficult news with our staff this morning and with Area and County Management Teams just moments ago. Please watch the short video below for more information about our decision and to hear what I said to them.
I know you will have many more questions and concerns as we navigate these uncertain times. Your local management teams and coaches represent the front lines of the Special Olympics movement in Indiana, and they will undoubtedly be reaching out to you to share more detailed information and answer questions about what this announcement means for you.
In the meantime, I encourage you to use the links above and below to educate yourself on the most recent guidelines being provided by state lawmakers, the CDC, and others who are hard at work fighting this pandemic on our behalf. And when you have time, join me in staying active through the Special Olympics Fit 5 and School of Strength programs.
Finally, at the heart of it all, remember that you are not alone. I am in this with you. Our staff is in this with you. It’s my duty to safeguard the health and well-being of our athletes, volunteers, and the countless others who are a part of the Special Olympics Indiana family, and I’ll continue to exercise caution and to respond to developments with your best interests in mind.
As always, feel free to reach out to me directly should you have any questions or if you need more information.
Jeff Mohler, President & CEO