Special Olympics Spring Games canceled, athletes to be drawn anonymously

Gina Furlin, Contributing Writer

The Area 9 Special Olympics Spring Games, originally set to be at O’Brien Field, were canceled Friday because of bad weather conditions.

The event will not be rescheduled, Elizabeth McPherson, a special education major who helped with the Special Olympics, said.

Instead, the games committee will draw names anonymously to decide the winners for each sporting event.

The athletes who get drawn will attend the state games, scheduled for June.

McPherson said athletes were emotional when they found out that the games were canceled.

“A lot of athletes were crying and were very disappointed. On top of the emotion from the games being canceled, it was also pouring rain and storming so the athletes were not in the best of moods,” McPherson said. “It was very unfortunate because EIU and Area 9 Special Olympics puts a lot of time and effort into these games to make them the best as possible, so for it to be canceled was a bummer.”

Although the actual games did not happen, organizers were able to get through the parade at 9 a.m. before the thunderstorm started.

“The parade is one of the most memorable for the athletes. They truly believe they are walking through the tunnel at Worldwide Olympic Games,” McPherson said. “They wave and they walk proudly and it always a genuine sight to see.”

Although McPherson said she enjoyed being in charge of the parade, her favorite part of the whole day was seeing the community come together for the Special Olympics.

Though the actual games were canceled, she said it was awesome how there were over 300 Eastern students volunteering there, knowing that they will get nothing in return.


Gina Furlin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].