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Special Olympics Canada has cancelled its summer games in 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation comes after many events, including the spring games originally scheduled to take place in Waterloo Region in May, had to move online.

The event was scheduled for May 21 to 23. It was rescheduled to July 21 to 23, with all events moving online.

Officials say there will be fewer athletes qualifying and competing in events during the pandemic, resulting in the decision to cancel the 2022 event.

"In a time of limited fiscal resources, and given the uncertainty of when mass gatherings will be allowed, we must prioritize those activities that reach and have an impact on the vast majority of our athletes and volunteers," Special Olympics Canada said in a statement online.

The majority of chapters also aren't planning on hosting provincial or territorial games in 2021.

Special Olympics Canada said it's focusing on supporting local programming during the pandemic.

Officials say they're also working on expanding virtual programs and getting athletes back onto the playing field.