Tough decisions continue for most organizations during an unpredictable year which now sees Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador deciding to cancel its summer games for 2021.
Trish Williams, the organization's executive director, told CBC News the decision to cancel is two-pronged.
"When we looked at it during our last board meeting we realized that there was no way that we would safely be able to bring together 550 people from across the province to compete," she said.
"Plus, we've been hit by some fairly significant financial challenges with the loss of the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the Special Olympics festival in the spring."
Williams said athletes are disappointed by the announcement, but the loss of the organization's weekly programs — as a result of the ongoing pandemic — was a tougher decision. The group needed to raise about $250,000 to hold the annual summer event.
"Games are the pinnacle of what we do, but the main thing we do is our weekly programming for our over 800 athletes," said Williams.
She said controlled programming is slowly beginning to return, seven months into the pandemic, and the group's virtual training over the summer helped keep athletes going.
Further, athletes are looking toward the Fit Fall Challenge, a virtual contest to keep them active heading into winter.
But it's not just Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador feeling the squeeze this year. Special Olympics Canada has already cancelled its national event, which was slated to take place in Medicine Hat, Alta., in 2022, citing financial hardship and COVID-19 restrictions.
Williams said the hope, for this province at least, is that if COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, smaller, regional competitions will be able to take place next season, as the group looks ahead to potentially holding larger competitions in 2022.
For now, Williams said, the Special Olympics World Games to be held in Berlin in 2023 is still a go.