Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Step 1... Cancel Special Olympics

We're already beginning to see what happens when your state has financial problems. Of course we are also seeing exactly WHERE cuts are made. "Let's take the first shot at people with developmental disabilities. We'll cut their Special Olympics tournaments! We'll hit 'em again later, but this is a good start".

I personally know many people to whom these tournaments are one of the main reasons they don't give in to their woeful circumstances. I guess they can find something else to look forward to until it gets cut. From

Lack of funding cancels state Special Olympics

04:44 PM PST on Tuesday, January 20, 2009


PORTLAND, Ore. -- Tim Erickson, 35, plays a mean game of basketball. He trains for the Special Olympics’ state games five days a week.

Video: Special Olympics canceled Sometimes, he talks to himself to pump himself up.

“I want to be a Blazer, I want to be a Blazer,” he says.

Sherri Weber, the woman who takes care of him, watches him through the window.

“Sometimes he says, ‘I need to get taller, I need to get taller,’” she said.

But Weber had to break the news to Tim that the state games are cancelled because there’s no money.

“Tim was close to tears. He was too shocked to even talk,” Marc Bourret said.

Bourret, with the Special Olympics Oregon, said donations were down 30 percent and grants that were expected have fallen through.

The board of directors made the decision.

“There were tears. But our sports side made the best decision they could,” Weber said.

She knew the games were cancelled but waited until the last minute to tell Tim.

“He said, ‘Sherri, I’ve been doing this since I was 8.’ And Tim is 35,” Weber said.

“It’s sore inside,” Tim said.

The Games are more than just an event for him; it’s what he looks forward to 365 days of the year.

While the three major state events are cancelled, there are opportunities for athletes.

The Special Olympics is still offering 30 competitions this year, according to its executive director Margaret Hunt.

“We feel this was a smart way to meet the challenges of a tough economy,” Hunt said.

Those interested in donating to the Games can visit the Special Olympics Oregon Web site.

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