Special Olympic Iowa to Hold Summer Games, Their Biggest Celebration of the Year, May 25 Through 275/12/2023
GRIMES, IOWA – In two weeks over 2,000 Special Olympics Iowa athletes and Unified partners will converge at Iowa State University for the Annual Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games, May 25 through 27.
The Summer Games is Special Olympics Iowa’s biggest competition and celebration of the year. On top of the over 2,000 athletes and Unified partners competing, there are expected to be over 2,000 volunteers, staff, and coaches present. Six different sports, including bocce, cycling, soccer, swimming, track and field, and tennis, will see competition during this two-and-a-half-day event.
The Summer Games will kick off on the morning of Thursday, May 25, with the Torch Run Final Leg bringing the Flame of Hope from downtown Des Moines to Hilton Coliseum. The cycling, team bocce, and singles tennis competitions will begin at 9:00 a.m. at varying locations. Soccer will begin at a later time on Thursday outside of the Lied Recreation Center. Singles bocce, tennis doubles, swimming, and track and field will take place on Friday, May 20, with track and field competition continuing through Saturday, May 21.
The highly anticipated Opening Ceremonies will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evening in Hilton Coliseum. The Opening Ceremonies will begin with a Parade of Athletes and end with the lighting of the Flame of Hope marking the beginning of the 2022 Summer Games.
“We are thrilled to be heading back to Ames next week for our Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Iowa CEO John Kliegl. ” There is so much excitement and energy heading into this year’s games. Our athletes have been training so hard and the volunteers are jumping at the opportunity to get involved. We look forward to being in Ames at Iowa State University and to the unparalleled atmosphere they create for our athletes.”
Also featured at the games are an Olympic Festival, Healthy Athletes screenings, and the Little Feet Meet. The Olympic Festival is an area for athletes to relax between competitions and interact with sponsors and partners through games and activities. Healthy Athletes screenings will provide athletes with an opportunity to be examined by healthcare professionals for eyesight, dental, hearing, overall health and fitness, and more. The Little Feet Meet is an inclusive opportunity for Young Athletes, ages 2 to 7, with and without intellectual disabilities to participate in track and field events at the Summer Games. The meet will take place Thursday, May 25th, at the Lied Recreation Center on the Iowa State University Campus.