Special Olympics summer games goes on despite COVID-19

Monday, the Summer Olympics had their opening ceremony night, and this week winners will be announced.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Porcha Hopson is perfecting her basketball skills on her own court instead of with a team to compete in the summer games for the Special Olympics.

This year's in-person summer games were canceled.

"I was kind of bummed out because I always get excited to play sports," Hopson said.

The games have gone online to a virtual competition.

"The difference is we are not competing against other players. So that was a little different," Hopson said.

She is one of 34 local athletes competing in the games this week.
Athletes have been training virtually with coaches to prepare.

Monday, the Summer Olympics had their opening ceremony night, and this week winners will be announced.

"Our athletes are inspirations to me and to our community. Giving them the opportunity to get out there and compete like any other athlete brings a lot of joy to me," said Mike Preciado, Special Olympics Fresno Senior Sports Manager.

Participants ages eight and up can compete in up to six sports: basketball, bocce ball, tennis, track and field, fitness, and soccer.

Athletes could submit videos or results online.

"It means a lot. It's exciting to play. I love competing and mostly trying to win," Hopson said.

Special Olympics fundraisers have hit hard by the pandemic. The torch run events were canceled. These funds help pay for athletes to compete free of charge.

Athletes are hoping to compete in next year's Special Olympics in person in 2021.
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