COVID-19 Updates

(NEW MESSAGE – March 21, 2021)

Special Olympics Rhode Island Board of Directors and Staff hope that this message finds you healthy and well as we hold on to the hope of returning to the “normal” that we all miss, know and love.  We remain positive, can see the light with vaccinations taking place and know that this COVID-19 crisis will not last forever.  We also know that returning to full activities will take some time and will not happen overnight.  Until then, we will continue to put the safety and health of our athletes, coaches, volunteers and families first.  Aligned with the Special Olympics Health Initiatives, the overall wellbeing of our athletes continues to be a priority for us.

Over the past month, we have had discussions with our Board of Directors, Staff, the University of Rhode Island and the State Games Management Team.  These conversations have been very valuable and truly helpful in making a decision regarding the 2021 State Summer Games.   We truly thought we would be further out, leaving this pandemic as a distant memory.  Unfortunately, we just are not there yet.  There are several factors that have played into this decision, but the safety of our athletes and our SORI community are our utmost priority.  Although, we know that disappointment of our athletes, coaches, volunteers and families will be heartbreaking,  we simply cannot safely hold our State Summer Games weekend event.   For 2021, our State Summer Games will once again be virtual on June 4th and 5th with more details to follow.

We will continue to proceed with caution and hopefully be back with state-level competitions in the Fall, as well as a state-wide “Day of Celebration” to be held on October 16th for athletes and our entire SORI community.  The “Day of Celebration” will allow us to celebrate and be grateful for the spirit, passion and perseverance that our athletes, volunteers, coaches, family and friends demonstrated throughout this pandemic.

Our Special Olympics Rhode Island staff is committed to continuing to offer new opportunities as we move comfortably forward in Phase 2.  During our Spring Sports Season, the following in-person programs will be offered: Unified Waling/Hiking/Fitness Program; Agency Daytime Walking/Fitness Program; Daytime Golf Skills (statewide program); Track & Field/Fitness; Unified Bocce; Unified Corn Hole; Cycling Program (statewide program); Unified Pickle Ball (statewide program); Unified Soccer Skills Program and Young Athletes Program.

We want to thank everyone as we continue to stay focused on the health and safety of our athletes and our entire Special Olympics Rhode Island community.  Now is the time for us to continue working with our local teams and focus on small group activities until we can safely move forward in larger group gatherings.

We want you to remind everyone that we’re here for you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need additional information. Even though the SORI office  is open by appointment only, we are all still hard at work in our home offices and reachable via email and phone. Please feel to contact me on my cell phone at (401) 323-9277 or via email at; Gerri Walter at (401) 527-1086 or via email at, or Chris Hopkins at (401) 829-7938 or via email at

Please stay healthy and safe as we continue to move through this difficult time.  Together, we can do this!

Dennis DeJesus,
CEO – Special Olympics Rhode Island

Special Olympics has prepared a list of frequently asked questions that you can reference on the topic of virus prevention and control.

Special Olympics resources to help during the COVID-19 crisis.

Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Refer to this page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for steps to prevent illness.

Rhode Island Department of Health COVID-19 Info Line (401) 222-8022 from 8:30am – 4:30pm. After Business Hours Dial  211 or email

Rhode Island Department of Health website

Virtual Athlete Activities available on Special Olympics Inc., website:

School of Strength

Fit 5 Resources

Staying Fit at Home

Stay Fit at Home Bingo

Fun Activities