Become an Athlete

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

gymnastics-medal3Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment — on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.

Special Olympics Iowa serves more than 14,000 athletes and their Unified Sports partners across the state. Our goal is to reach out to every one of them – and their families as well.

How to get started 

1. Find your area for Area Director contact information and area competition information.

2. To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, challenge-day-smile5traditional athletes must be at least eight years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions:

  • An intellectual disability;
  • A cognitive delay; or
  • A development disability.

3. Participation in Special Olympics starts at age eight, and there is no maximum age limit. Before athletes can begin competition, they must submit the SOIA Release and Medical Forms, which includes:

4. Read and sign the Athlete Code of Conduct for accountability purposes.  This form should be kept on file by the Delegation Manager.

Have questions?  Contact Katie Wiese, Director of Competitions by emailing or calling 515-986-5520.