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Flint cuts funding for student US-Canada athletic competitions

High school girls soccer match during the Flint Olympian Games.
Flint Olympian and CANUSA Games

The Flint school district is cutting funding for decades-old events to foster competition between athletes from the city and Canada.

The school board on Wednesday approved plans to eliminate funding for the CANUSA Games and the Flint Olympian Games after learning that the district's deficit grew to $21.9 million.

This cut is part of a broader deficit reduction plan that includes the possible closure of five Flint schools and a 15% pay cut for the district's three unions.

Top athletes from the Flint Olympian Games are eligible to qualify for the CANUSA Games, which rotate each summer between Flint and Hamilton, Ontario.

More than 680,000 athletes have been through the the Flint Olympian Games since their inception, including NBA player Glen Rice, hall of fame wrestler John Fisher, and NFL legend Andre Rison.

As Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins explained to Dominic Adams from the Flint Journal: "These are tough decisions that have to be made. I would have never thought that I would live to see the CANUSA Games and the Flint Olympian Games eliminated."

District officials say they will actively seek other sponsors for the events.

- Ari Sandberg, Michigan Radio Newsroom