The West Virginia Special Olympics Summer Games may be returning to West Virginia University June 9-11 for another season, but fortunately the cicadas that plagued last years game will notat least not for another 17 years.

Not only did last years athletes deal with above-average summer temperatures, but also with a proliferation of locusts, which drilled out of the ground and began flying en masse just in time for the games.

“Most of our athletes and volunteers kept a good sense of humor about them,”said Nancy Moore, volunteer coordinator.”But I think they were a little unnerving at first. Im grateful we will not have to contend with them for a good while.”

Helpful volunteers, when not swatting flying vermin, kept the Special Olympians focused on the games by squashing the diving bugs with rolled up newspapers, programs and an occasional shoe.

“I know they were distracting when they were competing, but I think they were even more annoying when the athletes were less busy and enjoying the social activities,”said Kathy Kerzak, who coordinates the Olympic Village.

Kerzak said she noticed lots of cicadas heading towards the athletes ice cream cones and drinks, but no really big, bug disasters.”That humming was annoying, though,”she quipped.

The cicadas, which experts say wont appear again for another 17 years, live long enough to breed and then die.

For more information on this years games call the special toll-free hotline at 1-888-988-2269. ””:"../index.html