Special Olympics Idaho is canceling its statewide games due to a lack of snow.  The statewide games were scheduled for the first weekend in March, but with little snow and no more forecasted the decision had to be made now. The announcement was made to participants on Wednesday. Area games will still happen for regions of the state with snow, but Matt Caropino with Special Olympics Idaho says that group will be small. The general Special Olympics rules require athletes practice for eight weeks before the state games and four weeks for area competition. With the state games eight weeks away, Caropino says their hands were tied. That creates a big problem for this year’s athletes. 2012 is a qualifying year for the 2013 Special Olympic World Games in South Korea. Since no one will be able to qualify in 2012, organizers will use the 2011 state game results as a qualifier for the 2013 games. Athletes who won a gold medal in the 2011 games will be able to apply for a spot on Team USA for 2013. There are roughly 300 athletes who participate in Special Olympics Idaho. Half of them do winter sports.

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