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Special Olympics games cancelled

Special Olympics Pennsylvania and Penn State University announced Tuesday that the 2020 Summer Games planned for June in State College are cancelled due to concerns related to COVID-19, a news release from Special Olympics Pennsylvania said.

In addition, the 10th annual “Be a Fan” Torch Run that precedes Summer Games also is cancelled. Instead, Special Olympics Pennsylvania is working with its statewide athlete leaders, PSU, the Summer Games volunteer committee, Law Enforcement Torch Run leaders and key sponsors to plan a “Virtual Summer Games” that will take place during the same timeframe.

According to the news release, more details will be shared in the near future.

“While it is heartbreaking to announce this decision to cancel the Torch Run and Summer Games, “our hope is to capture the spirit of our athletes and volunteers via the Virtual Summer Games,” said Matthew Aaron, Special Olympics Pennsylvania president and CEO, according to the news release. “The athletes of Special Olympics Pennsylvania and our coaches, families, Law Enforcement Torch Run partners, sponsors and volunteers are an amazing and resilient group. We will come through this crisis stronger and more unified than ever.”

This year would have marked the 33rd consecutive year that Penn State University hosted the Summer Games. Both organizations are committed to bringing the Summer Games back to State College in 2021, the news release said.

“Penn State University and our entire community always look forward to hosting the amazing Special Olympics athletes and their coaches, volunteers and guests each June,” said Eric Barron, president of Penn State University. We will miss them and their families this year, according to the news release. “But, we all look forward to the day when we can welcome everyone back to campus again.”

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