Special Olympics Iowa is a statewide movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. Using sports as the catalyst, and including programming on health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.
For people with intellectual disabilities, the benefits of Special Olympics include:
- Improved physical fitness and motor skills
- Greater self-confidence
- A more positive self-image
- Lifelong friendships
Special Olympics athletes carry these benefits into their daily lives at home, in the classroom, on the job and in the community. For athletes, Special Olympics provides a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy.
“My favorite part of Special Olympics is how many opportunities it has given me. I have been able to try different sports and make new friends. I get to travel to new places and tell people about all of my fun experiences. I love Special Olympics!”
– Sherry McKee, SOIA Athlete
Be a Champion
There are many ways you can make a difference in the lives of Special Olympics Iowa athletes:
- Attend events and cheer on the athletes
- Participate in fundraising events (Polar Plunge, Plane Pull, Over the Edge and more!)
In 2014, more than 15,000 volunteers helped make nearly 90 competitions throughout all 99 counties in Iowa possible for over 13,600 athletes and Unified Sports partners. Make today the day you become a champion!
The mission of Special Olympics Iowa is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities by giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.