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Special Olympics Missouri cancels state summer games due to tornado damage and severe flooding

The games were scheduled for May 31 through June 2.
Credit: Facebook: Special Olympics Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Special Olympics Missouri announced it has cancelled the 2019 state summer games.

The games were scheduled for May 31 through June 2.

“We are heartbroken that we have to cancel State Summer Games,” said Susan Stegeman, SOMO president and CEO. “The athletes deserve better, but based on the severe tornado damage to SOMO headquarters, the extreme flooding throughout the state and a grim 10-day forecast, we had to make this call.”

RELATED: Heartbreaking photos, videos show devastation across Jefferson City

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“Our staff’s top priority is always the athletes. They would move mountains to make sure the athletes have quality competition. As the chair of the SOMO Board of Directors, I must look out for the wellbeing of our organization. 

“As a board, we cannot in good conscience expect our team to execute these games after suffering the devastation of losing the campus that they, and so many of you, have worked so hard to make a home for our athletes. Their physical, emotional and mental health must be the top priority at this time as we rebuild the Training for Life Campus.”

More than 100 volunteers were at the campus Friday to help clean up in preparation for repair.

Individuals and businesses interested in donating to the rebuild efforts can text ‘SOMOREBUILD’ to 71777.

“We have an incredible staff and an army of volunteers helping us recover. We will rebuild and SOMO will be stronger than ever,” Stegeman said.