Special Olympics events canceled due to cold - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Special Olympics events canceled due to cold

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It's been a rough two years for the Special Olympics Winter Games in Wausau.

Last year, too little snow caused the games to be canceled. This year, there's plenty of snow, but forecasters predict wind chills will dip to -20 for the weekend. Organizers say those temperatures are too dangerous to hold the event.

"In the long run for the safety of our athletes for the safety of our volunteers and staff we have on site I think it's the right decision," said Jerry Lyon, the Special Olympics Regional Athletic Director.

Volunteers say they've been planning for the event for more than two months, however they say the real disappointment is that they won't be able to watch the athletes perform.

"It's a bummer that you put in the effort, but it's more sad that all the work that the athletes put in isn't going to be realized," said David Mix, a Special Olympics volunteer.

Event leaders say more than 200 athletes had signed up to compete.

All athletic competitions are canceled, but participants can still attend some indoor events such as classes and a dance.

"There's so much more that we do than sport and that's the camaraderie, the friendships that they make through Special Olympics," said Lyon.

Organizers say they're now focusing on upcoming events, including a basketball tournament in March.

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