AUSTIN (KXAN) — As athletes from around the world get set to compete in the Olympics, some Central Texas athletes are getting set to compete as well.
The pandemic paused Special Olympics Texas, but now competition is set to begin again this fall.
Special Olympics in Central Texas had a few gatherings, but not nearly like they typically do. The majority of the activities will be outside, but indoor competition will also get going again.
“I like golf and horseback riding,” said Matthew Wright, who has been competing in Special Olympics since 1999.
While Matthew loves golf and riding horses, he has also competed in many other sports as well, but the pandemic put all those sports on hold.
“I didn’t even think Special Olympics would start up again,” Wright said.
Some areas of Texas have started competition again, but Central Texas has waited to resume competition.
“Special Olympics Texas has taken it a little slower because our numbers were a little higher,” said Claire Riebau, Special Olympics Texas program director.
Special Olympics Texas will hold summer games in September, and then continue competitions in the fall.
“This fall we are doing all of the outdoor that we can and we are hoping in the next couple of weeks to improve indoor sports again,” Riebau said.
As the delta strain of COVID-19 continues to spread they are keeping an eye on the latest numbers.
“Texas has their own mitigation committee, and they meet every two weeks to discuss safety and what numbers are looking like,” Riebau said.
Wright says he is excited to compete again and looks forward to getting back together with all his friends.
“If anyone wants to challenge me I am ready to accept the challenge,” Wright said.
Special Olympics Texas will continue to monitor the number of cases in Central Texas to make sure athletes and volunteers remain safe.
Tarrytown Pharmacy partnered with Special Olympics Texas last spring to get athletes and their families vaccinated. Riebau says more than 400 people were vaccinated at the Austin event.