CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Special Olympics is set to return this fall but may look different compared to years past as organizers monitor the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
They say the games are expected to be held at Coastal Carolina University. In-person state fall games are set to take place Oct. 22 and 23. COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed.
“It’s going to be great to really get back in-person,” Olympian Brenda Purvis said.
Purvis, 32, said she has been an athlete in the Special Olympics for 10 years. She said when COVID-19 canceled the Horry County Special Olympics last year, it deeply impacted her.
“What I really missed the most was connecting with everyone again and that is what I really love the most,” Purvis said.
Purvis said she was excited to receive the news that the Special Olympics will be taking place this year and said she will be participating in the fall.
“I play all different kinds of different sports. I play softball, I play basketball and softball,” Purvis said.
Purvis said she has been leading Zumba classes online for the past year after COVID-19 canceled events.
“I hope to teach it in-person one day,” she said.
Lisa Brown who is the area director for Horry County Special Olympics said games will still be following COVID-19 safety protocols. Brown said athletes, coaches and volunteers are eager to get back to in-person training.
“We are our own family and to be able to see everyone is just wonderful. They are so excited,” Brown said.
Purvis said what she missed most was her fellow athletes, coaches and the volunteers.
“I miss talking to everyone in person,” Purvis said.