The 2021 Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games, scheduled for June 4-6, have been canceled due to the on-going COVID pandemic.
Summer Games, the organization’s largest annual statewide competition, typically brings more than 1,500 athletes, 300 coaches, and 1,400 enthusiastic volunteers from across the state to Maize South High School in Wichita for three days of competition in four sports.
“Naturally, we’re disappointed that the lingering coronavirus outbreak has altered plans for the 2021 Summer Games,” said John Lair, Special Olympics Kansas President/CEO. “The decision was made to ensure the safety and health of all attendees. Our athletes, volunteers and sponsors look forward to this annual event, and it was an incredibly tough decision.”
Although the Summer Games have been canceled, Special Olympics Kansas remains very active with virtual sports, health programs, and fundraising efforts. Also, the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run has big plans to celebrate its 40th Anniversary!
“What began as a spark of hope in Wichita has become a roaring flame of stability for Special Olympics worldwide”, said Chief Richard LaMunyon, founder of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. From special shirts and collectible coins to new community style events, the Executive Council is busy planning activities. The latest news on this celebratory year will be up to date on the Special Olympics Kansas website, social media accounts, and newsletters.
In addition to Summer Games being canceled, the following sports announcements have been made for competitions through the end of the summer.
The Powerlifting and Soccer seasons are canceled.
Bocce and Corn hole will be offered regionally in April/May.
Cycling and Tennis will be offered regionally in May.
Smaller, modified Track and Field competitions will be offered at the regional level in late May or early June
Bowling will be offered regionally only in late July or early August.
The Special Olympics Kansas Return to Play committee that was formed in the Fall will be tasked with deciding on the exact precautions that will be in place for team training and each sport.
It was previously announced that there will be no in-person competitions for basketball in 2021. This has since been replaced by the Virtual Basketball & Cheerleading Challenge, a virtual competitive event open to all registered teams and athletes across Kansas. To close the challenge, Special Olympics Kansas will be hosting virtual special events, most notably an opening ceremony and party on March 20, 2021. Get more information about the challenge and virtual events at ksso.org/virtual-bb-cheer.