The 2021 Empire State Winter Games, originally scheduled for January 28 - 31, 2021, have been canceled due to safety concerns with the coronavirus.

The 41 edition of the Empire State Winter Games has joined the long list of canceled events in 2020-2021 due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Coordinators could not adequately plan and organize the competition, let alone produce over thirty sporting events safely.

They say the health and safety of athletes, coaches, volunteers, and surrounding communities are their top priority. The press release states:

After careful consultation with our sponsors, sport coordinators, and local/state officials regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our athletes, coaches, volunteers, spectators, and our longtime partners – we have made the difficult decision to postpone the 41st Annual Empire State Winter Games in the North Country.

“Although the decision to cancel the Games in the traditional sense is a hard one, it is of the utmost importance to keep everyone safe during these unprecedented times,” says Molly Mayer, Executive Director of the Empire State Winter Games. “We are dedicated to producing a high-quality event and ensuring all parties involved, including our local communities, remain safe.”

The Empire State Winter Games have grown over the years. The first competition attracted about 350 athletes. This February, they expected more than 2,100 athletes from 15 states and 3 countries, bringing over 10,000 spectators. With all the travel restrictions in New York State, it's safe to say anyone from out of state would have to quarantine for 2 weeks before the games began.

The Empire State Winter Games remains hopeful to host a virtual or social media event for 2021 participants.

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