As USA Games near, some Special Olympics athletes in limbo over COVID-19 vaccination policy
Special Olympics athlete Isabelle Valle competes in“ Golf Skills” events. - Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

ORLANDO, Fla. — Isabella Valle cried in joy last summer when she learned she’d earned a spot at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, being held in Orlando. But with opening ceremonies less than a month away, the 25-year-old golfer’s tears are now out of frustration and disappointment. Her mother, Elaine Valle, received an April 22 email from Special Olympics International saying that COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all athletes. Because Valle has not provided proof of being vaccinated, the email states that her daughter cannot be part of the team and cannot compete in the games. That cou...