Thursday, January 7, 2010

Special Olympics Cuts Competition

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tommy Sliva takes great pride in his Special Olympics medals because they show he can ski better than many of his friends without special needs.
But the 19-year-old with Down Syndrome won't get to compete in the giant slalom at the Indiana winter games this year because they have been canceled.
"He was very sad. He said, 'Why, Mom?' Of course, he doesn't understand all of the financial situation," said Veronika Sliva, of Indianapolis.
It's been a rough two years for the Special Olympics, which endured the death of founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver in August and has seen sponsorship money dry up because of the poor economy. The Washington-based parent organization lost tens of millions of dollars when the stock market tanked in 2008. And many state affiliates have had to cut costs by trimming staff, canceling entire competitions or eliminating certain events.

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