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Tornado Damages Training for Life Campus


Training for Life Campus after tornado

Updated June 20, 2019

Eight years to the day that Special Olympics Missouri lost its Joplin office to a devastating EF5 tornado, our new Training for Life Campus in Jefferson City was heavily damaged by another tornado on May 22.

The recent EF3 tornado tore through the new 16.5-acre Special Olympics Missouri Training for Life Campus last month, destroying our athletic field and damaging the roof and most interior spaces at the world-class training facility designed specifically for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

“After an initial report from our engineers, we are happy to report that the Training for Life Campus is not a total loss,” said Susan Stegeman, SOMO President & CEO. "The investigations are ongoing and we will continue to share information as it is available. Until the total damages/costs analysis is complete, we won’t know the time frame."

The Training for Life Campus in Jefferson City housed an arena, workout facilities, training rooms and a health clinic for medical, dental and vision screenings for the 16,000 SOMO athletes in Missouri. The campus is now closed for extensive repairs which are expected to take many months to complete. Our State Summer Games scheduled for the following weekend were canceled due to the devastation at the campus and in the Jefferson City community, as well as flooding and the forecast for more rain.

Opened just eight months prior, the SOMO Training for Life Campus was built with private funds raised throughout Missouri. Despite this tremendous setback, SOMO’s Board of Directors and staff promise to rebuild the Training for Life Campus, and again provide its athletes, families and coaches a place to call home. The campus is regarded as one of the most comprehensive facilities ever built to specifically address the needs of Special Olympics athletes.

To see the stories of passion, dedication and perseverance through this tragedy, be sure to follow along on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Flickr, Instagram and YouTube), #SOMORebuild. We’ll post updates to the status of the rebuild on this page. 

Supporters may donate in support of rebuilding and displacement costs here.

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