Valley athletes, coaches disappointed after COVID-19 cancels Ohio Special Olympics

Local News

On Thursday, the announcement was made to suspend Special Olympics sports and competition through July 6

(WKBN) – Special Olympics Ohio canceled the State Summer Games this year due to the COVID-19, leaving many special Olympians feeling disappointed that their season won’t happen.

On Thursday, the announcement was made to suspend sports and competition through July 6.

“Kind of let the air out of my sails a little bit. I was kind of hoping that we could get back into it,” said local coordinator and coach David Grossman.

Grossman said it was a tough announcement to hear. This is the first time in more than 50 years without a State Summer Games.

“It’s very disappointing. I understand it, but that doesn’t make it any easier to get past,” Grossman said.

Right now, the athletes would be in volleyball and track season, training for the State Summer Games held at the Ohio State University.

“It’s sad because the kids really look forward to participating. They count the days down,” said Sandee Timmeran, a mother of four Special Olympics athletes.

All four of Timmeran’s children compete every year. She knows the cancellation is for their health and safety, but she said it’s still disappointing.

Athlete Marlena Timmerman said she is sad that she can’t participate in the Summer Games with her friends this year.

“I’m frustrated, I’m angry,” said athlete Michael Timmerman. “I want to get out of the house and do the sports and run, hit, other stuff.”

Grossman understands the disappointment, but he knows they will all be stronger when they come back.

“When we’re able to get back to it, we will,” he said.

“This is only for a season. You know, God’s got this all under control,” Sandee said. “We really have to embrace that. We just have to embrace that he’s got a bigger plan and we just have to wait to see what it is.”

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