Special Olympics South Dakota State Summer Games canceled due to COVID-19

Local News

VERMILLION, S.D. (KCAU) – The Special Olympics South Dakota (SOSD) meant to be held in Vermillion this year has been canceled due the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

The Vermillion Chamber of Commerce said the organizing committee were informed of the decision by the SOSD Board of Directors. The board said it was done to protect the athletes and volunteers, in addition to being in the best interest in regards to reduce the large crowd gathering the event would bring.

“Our State Summer Games is always a really exceptional event for everyone, and we are devastated that we can’t have it this year,” says Darryl Nordquist, President and CEO of Special Olympics South Dakota. “While we are sad to have to cancel, we are looking forward to holding the 2021 State Summer Games in Vermillion next Spring.”

The Special Olympics South Dakota Summer Games were held in Vermillion in 2019 and were to be held there a second year with the event then being held in Spearfish for two years before alternating between the two locations. With this year’s event being canceled, Vermillion will host it in 2021.

Nearly 1,000 people gather for this event every year. In light of current health concerns and following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is in the best interest of everyone to reduce large crowded gatherings and reconvene next year.

“Hosting the State Summer Games in Vermillion is important to us because it allows the University to connect with the community and create a valuable bond between our athletes and the Special Olympics Athletes,” David Herbster, USD Athletic Director says. “As Organizing Chair, I am looking forward to bringing this event back in 2021.”

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