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 Special Olympics 2022 USA Games/YouTube screenshot

ORLANDO (LifeSiteNews) – The Special Olympics kicks off today and thanks to Florida law and Governor Ron DeSantis, hundreds of athletes will be able to compete. 

The sports organization dropped its mandate that athletes take the abortion-tainted COVID jab as a condition of competing in the games this summer. DeSantis has banned both private and government vaccine passports in the state.

The State of Florida has worked hard to make this event as inclusive as possible, and after lengthy negotiations with Special Olympics International, there will be no COVID vaccine mandate for this event,” the governor’s office announced on Friday in a news release emailed to reporters.

“Florida will always be welcoming to all of our athletes with disabilities, regardless of COVID vaccination status,” Gov. DeSantis stated. “Special Olympics International should have never imposed a vaccine mandate on their athletes. Special Olympians who were in limbo for months will now be able to compete in Florida thanks to our continued actions to keep Floridians’ medical decisions private.” 

The governor’s office shared a story of a Kansas athlete who tried six times to get a medical exemption, but doctors told him he had to get jabbed first and show a reaction. He took the first dose and had a seizure that required hospitalization. 

READ: LA charter school bars 70 high school seniors who refused COVID jab from graduation events

Special Olympics International flip-flopped on whether athletes would need to get jabbed to compete, according to the governor’s office. 

“As Floridians were faced with losing their jobs over vaccine mandates, Florida stepped-up to ban vaccine passports. For six months Florida has been negotiating to support these athletes as much as we have supported other communities in the state,” the news release stated. “Athletes were told they could attend the Games and then a few months later those invitations were withdrawn if the athletes did not get vaccinated for COVID. Governor DeSantis and the Department of Health have ensured these athletes are not marginalized and are able to compete.” 

The parent of a golfer thanked the governor and state for standing up for her daughter Isabella. 

“This is all about the athletes and I am thankful for Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health for what they have negotiated with Special Olympics,” Elaine Valle said in the news release. “Isabella has been competing since she was seven years old in various sports. The teams she has been on have been a large part of her life. Special Olympics Florida is about inclusion, and I am so thankful our team is back together.” 

LifeSiteNews contacted the media teams for both the Special Olympics International and the U.S. branch for comment on the vaccine requirements and COVID guidelines on Monday morning but did not receive a response. 

READ: Refusal to treat COVID vaccine injuries ‘is a crime against humanity’: leading intensive care doctor

Children and young people face extremely low risk from COVID-19. There have also been thousands of reports of serious adverse events and deaths after the jabs, and numerous experts have criticized the push to inject children and young adults with experimental shots. 

Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisor Dr. Doran Fink warned last year about the dangers for young men from the jabs.  

Dr. Fink said at a September 2021 vaccine safety committee meeting that men under 40 are at greater risk of hospitalization from COVID shots than the virus itself, particularly due to myocarditis and other heart problems.