Special Olympics Kansas cancels 2020 Summer Games

Local Law Enforcement is raising funds for Special Olympics Iowa (Photo:Photo: Special Olympics (MGN).

WICHITA, Kan. (WIBW) - Special Olympics Kansas has canceled the 2020 Summer Games set for June 5-7 in Wichita due to coronavirus concerns, the organization announced Thursday.

"We serve a population where many are at a heightened risk (age, compromised immune systems, and/or medically fragile), and our competitions require people to travel from all parts of the state to convene in venues and engage in sport," John Lair, president and CEO for Special Olympics Kansas wrote.

Lair says the organization has been monitoring the situation since early March and consulted Special Olympics, Inc., Special Olympics North America, and the Kansas Dept. of Health in making the decision.

As of Thursday afternoon, Kansas has 1,106 cases and 42 deaths due to COVID-19.

"With this news about a growing number of confirmed and suspected cases, we no longer believe that we can prudently proceed with the Games and be sure we are providing a safe and healthy environment, regardless of what precautionary steps and/or preventative measures we might implement," Lair wrote.

All practices, activities, and events for Special Olympics Kansas are on hold through May 15.

In the meantime, the organization encourages participants to compete in the virtual I-70 Challenge and keep up with nutrition, health, and wellness information on their Facebook page.