AUSTIN, Texas - The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 has dominated the headlines but what about the Special Olympics? With the Texas Summer Games postponed as well, it's impacted close to 3,000 athletes across the state.
The Special Olympics Texas Summer Games were supposed to start at the end of April in San Antonio and each year they bring excitement, joy, and satisfaction to all those involved.
Bruce Clarke with Special Olympics Texas says, "it's just an avenue for our athletes to show what they can do, instead of what (they) can't do, which is what they've been told their entire life."
"A lot of our athletes, Special Olympics is their whole lives," Clarke says.
Lives that have been changed because of COVID-19.
Clarke says, "Anytime we take something away from our athletes, especially the opportunity to show the world, really what they are all about, their athletic ability and all their other abilities that they have and I just feel like it's unfortunate."
It's a sentiment that Sarah Ribeiro, also with Special Olympics Texas, shares.
"Just such a disappointment to have to postpone everything for everybody," Ribeiro says.
"But I'm very proud and excited with the things, the effort that Special Olympics has been making," Ribeiro adds.
The Special Olympics staff has found a way to keep athletes, coaches, and the community engaged by creating a free app on Flipgrid called So Connect.
"It brings a positive spin to everybody," Ribeiro says.
"We really want our athletes to engage with us on that platform because they kind of feel like Special Olympics has been taken away from them in a way," Clarke says. "They just put so much into their competition and their event that I feel like this break will just make them want to push even harder than they did before. So, I really feel like Special Olympics will bounce back from this and be better than it was before."
The suspension of competition and practice is currently through May 31.