BOTTINEAU, N.D. – Special Olympics North Dakota has canceled the 2020 Winter Games amid scheduling conflicts and the changing weather.
The games were originally scheduled for Jan. 17-18 at the Bottineau Winter Park, but were postponed amid a winter storm that weekend.
Special Olympics North Dakota eventually rescheduled the games for Friday, March 13 at the same venue. However, several athletes had scheduling conflicts with the new date, and the spring-like weather melted some of the snow at the park.
“We never like to cancel anything because we don’t like to take away opportunities to a population that generally don’t have as many opportunities as the rest of the world, so we’re disappointed that we had to make that decision, but we also value the time and commitment that we have on behalf of all the volunteers, and things like that as well, too,” said Kathleen Meagher, President & CEO of Special Olympics North Dakota.
Meagher said the recent impact of the coronavirus on large public gatherings, including sporting events, did not play a part in the decision.
She said the last time they had to cancel the Winter Games was in 2008, when weather also played a factor.