Coronavirus Updates and Information

An important announcement regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 and how it affects Special Olympics Illinois competition/events (UPDATED 10/23)

Special Olympics Illinois continues to take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. Our number one priority is keeping our athletes, volunteers, families and constituents safe.

Since September, Special Olympics Illinois has returned to play with thought out and engaging ways to get the athletes back on the field of play. To that end, we have resumed regional golf competition and golf skills, soccer skills, virtual sports, bocce, softball skills, tennis competition and tennis skills as well as flag football skills and flag football punt, pass and kick. Keeping in line with the CDC, the Illinois Department of Public Health, Governor Pritzker and Special Olympics Inc., SOILL determined participation protocols for the athletes, volunteers, coaches, and families that participate in SOILL events. Based on those procedures, of which the number of total number of people attending any one event being of priority, we made the decision to cancel all State Championships through the end of 2020.

Given all of the facts available to us, as we head in to the first quarter of 2021, we have concluded that we must look at large competitions on an event by event basis. As a result of the data, we regret to announce that the 2021 Winter Games will be cancelled. However, our goal is to keep our athletes and families engaged, and Special Olympics Illinois plans to hold Regional events in snowshoeing and alpine skiing where appropriate.  

In addition, Special Olympics Illinois continues to convene working groups that confirm and complete protocols and guidelines for adding opportunities for athletes to participate in a safe and quality run events. Those additional activities include: powerlifting, volleyball skills, floor hockey skills and basketball skills. Please note that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we may need to make additional modifications to our plans.  We are evaluating and discussing the information on a daily basis and continually re-assessing what future events may or may not look like. Please continue to look at the website, SOILL.ORG, and reach out to your Region Director about activities to confirm that they will be conducted or in case of changes to scheduling.

If you have program-related questions, please contact Marty Hickman. For questions related to fundraising, please contact Matt Johnson.

Here are some tips to help make sure we all stay healthy:

  • If you’re feeling even slightly under the weather or you’re running a fever, please stay home. Whether you’re an athlete, coach, family member or volunteer, please don’t put everyone else at risk because you don’t want to miss something. We know missing out isn’t any fun, but taking the chance that someone could get sick because of your actions isn’t fun either.
  • Wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating — do so for AT LEAST 20 seconds.
  • Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open bathroom doors, not your freshly-washed hands
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm, not your hands
  • Avoid shaking hands and high-fives
  • Avoid drinking from the same cup or bottle as someone else
  • Set up a home training regimen with your local athletes to make sure everyone still stays in shape
  • Keep an eye on our social media accounts over the next week as we work with our athlete-leaders to develop a training plan for our athletes to stay fit in this time without practices
  • For updates on the virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website daily

For all future updates on the virus and how it affects Special Olympics Illinois, please visit

Additional Resources:

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization