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Special Olympics Winter Games in Russia postponed until 2023

The 12th Special Olympics Winter Games in Kazan, Russia have been delayed until 2023 due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers have announced.

The Games were originally scheduled to take place in January 2022, but organisers have postponed the event fears over relating to the Delta variant of COVID-19.

"Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan, Russia, have been postponed to January 2023 due to the global pandemic and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of athletes, volunteers, staff, and fans," the organisation said in a statement.

"Due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading across the globe, many Special Olympics delegations are hesitant or unable to travel internationally.

"Postponing World Winter Games Kazan to 2023 helps ensure athletes will have the opportunity to participate, high quality competitions, and plenty of cultural activities and other immersive programming.

"Waiting one year to hold the Games bolsters the goal of inspiring inclusion in Russia and around the world."

The Games will mark the first time that Russia has hosted the Special Olympics.