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Local Special Olympics activities on hold due to COVID

Decision will be revisited in December
MVT Mark Mengersen Medals
Olds Special Olympics athlete Mark Mengersen shows off the silver and bronze medals he won during the World Special Olympics Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in March 2019. Activities for the local Special Olympics group have been postponed because of COVID-19. File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS — Olds and District Special Olympics (ODSO) has postponed their regular activities due to COVID-19 pandemic protocols and will reassess the decision in December.

ODSO chair Karen Mengersen made the announcement in an email which she sent out to Special O athletes and volunteers, noting the decision was made by the organization’s affiliate management committee.

However, Mengersen indicated that doesn’t mean ODSO athletes can’t do things to keep sharp and in shape.

“Go for walks; do exercises; when you are able, go bowling or swimming in your small cohort group,” Mengersen wrote.

She added that the bowling alley is willing to charge the same rate Special Olympics has paid previously.

Mengersen also urged members to participate in some of the virtual activities she will be distributing.

Mengersen stressed that good health is driving this decision.

The first priority for all of us is the health and safety of the most vulnerable in our community,” Mengersen wrote.

“The majority of our athletes and many of our volunteers fall into the category of vulnerable. Whether we believe it is real or not, people are at risk of getting sick from COVID-19 and it would be devastating if, through sport we exposed athletes or volunteers and they became gravely ill, all because we wanted to return to play,” she added.

“COVID has turned our everyday living upside down and we are all doing our best to manage while ensuring the health and safety of ourselves and loved ones.”

Mengersen noted that flu season is just around the corner, and it hits Special O athletes hard enough as it is.

“Please stay healthy and look forward to when we will be able to gather again as a team,” she wrote.