* AAU JUNIOR OLYMPIC PRESS RELEASE, MAY 15, 2020
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ORLANDO, Fla. (May 15, 2020)- Since 1967, the AAU Junior Olympic Games have provided countless amateur athletes with the opportunity to not only compete at the highest level but also to create lasting memories on and off the playing surface.
The times we live in are unprecedented and ever-changing. The COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") has irrevocably altered the world as we know it. All of us are navigating uncharted waters as we adapt to a new normal and a new reality.
The spread of the disease has impacted states differently, with select states beginning to re-open segments of their local businesses with increased safeguards in place; for other states, it is still a work in progress until it is deemed safe to slowly and deliberately start the re-opening phase. State schools and their accompanying athletic facilities are closed for the foreseeable future.
After careful consideration, including questions related to the uncertainty surrounding facility availability, and with countless hours spent planning possible scenarios to move forward with the event in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and Hampton Roads Sport Commission (HRSC) have decided that the 54th AAU Junior Olympic Games will not be held in Virginia.
While we are saddened the event could not be held in Virginia as planned, please note, that alternative locations and datesare being explored tohold the AAU Junior Olympic Games in another area in 2020.
"For 132 years, the AAU has provided event opportunities for amateur athletes," said Dr. Roger J. Goudy, AAU President & CEO. "These are unprecedented times and after careful review of numerous factors, it is not possible to hold the Games in Virginia this summer. However, we are looking at other areas to hold the event in 2020."
The AAU would like to thank the Hampton Roads Sport Commission for their dedication and hard work during this trying time. The AAU Junior Olympic Games, an event that has been held in 19 states and 30 different cities, is the largest national multi-event sport event in the nation, hosted approximately 18,000 participants
"The decision to cancel the 54th AAU Junior Olympic Games in Virginia was not made lightly but one we feel strongly is the right thing to do," said Paul Campbell, Chair of the AAU Junior Olympic Games for the past 28 years. "The safety and well-being of athletes has always been the AAU's highest priority."
The Hampton Roads Sports Commission appreciates the support and effort of the local municipalities, sporting venues, local business community and Board of Directors.
"[We were] looking forward to hosting this prestigious event for the sixth time," said Claudell Clark, Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Sports Commission. "Our region has a rich history of successfully hosting large scale sporting events, and we will continue to pursue events that generate a large economic impact for our local business community."
We look forward to sharing with you a new location for the Games in 2020 shortly. For more information on the AAU Junior Olympic Games, visitwww.aaujrogames.org