Articles from January 2016

Coaches Corner: Sending Forms to the State Office

As we move into a new year, the staff at Special Olympics Iowa would like to welcome our new families, coaches and delegation managers and thank everyone returning for your continued support. We would also like to remind you a few housekeeping items:

  • Athlete physicals may be emailed to (The coach should keep an original copy for their records).
  • Registration/entry forms for area competitions should be sent to your area director.
  • Registration/entry forms for state competitions should be sent to the state office at
  • Class A volunteer applications should be sent to the state office at
  • The 2016 Coaches’ Guide can be found at In the Competitions drop list, click on Participation Forms, and the link is on the left in the orange Helpful Links section.

Please Note: Whenever you are scanning something to the state office, call or email to let us know so we can verify we received your document.

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Winter Games Becomes Highlight of J-Term for Univ. of Dubuque Class

news-speed-skating-volunteer-helpThe volunteer spirit was shining bright during Special Olympics Iowa Winter Games in Dubuque, especially among a group of students from the University of Dubuque who were lending a helping hand at the Mystique Ice Arena. For five years, the Quest for the Cup class, taught by Jim Romagna, has helped to make sure the figure skating and speed skating events run smoothly. Students help with race coordination, helping athletes on and off the ice, cheering them on during their events, race timing, awards, set-up and tear down.

Romagna is the department head of the Health, Wellness and Sport Program at the university and has turned volunteering at Winter Games into an annual event in the course syllabus. The J-term class is held for three weeks during the university’s winter break, with the primary focus on learning the history of the Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL hockey team. Students get an inside look at hockey operations including marketing, fundraising, practices, off-ice workouts and more.

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2016 Winter Games Recap

Thank you to our athletes, coaches, chaperones, volunteers and sponsors for making the 30th Annual Winter Games a success! We took the cold weather in stride, bundled up extra tight and had a wonderful three days in Dubuque!

If you missed out on the action, catch up with the links below:

Winter Games Preview – We Are Iowa Local 5 News

Special Olympics Athletes Gather for Opening of Winter Games – KCRG

Despite Cold Weather, Special Olympics Winter Games Continues – KWWL

Cheering Section Brings Out Best in Special Olympics Athletes in Dubuque – Dubuque Telegraph Herald

Frigid Conditions Don’t Slow Special Olympics Athletes in Dubuque – Dubuque Telegraph Herald

See Photos on Our Facebook Page!

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30th Annual Winter Games in Dubuque Jan. 11-13

winter-games-skiing-groupSpecial Olympics Iowa (SOIA) will hold the 30th Annual Winter Games in Dubuque Jan. 11-13 with more than 375 athletes from 47 delegations across the state set to compete in Alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, short-track speed skating and figure skating.

Full Schedule of Events

More than 170 coaches and chaperones, along with more than 300 volunteers, will join the athletes and make the event a success. The Grand Harbor Center, Sundown Mountain, Albrecht Acres and Mystique Community Ice Center will host the competitions and activities.

“We are both proud and excited to celebrate 30 years of Winter Games with the city of Dubuque,” said SOIA CEO Gary Harms. “The people and businesses in this city have opened their arms and their hearts to our wonderful athletes, families, coaches, staff and volunteers for many years.  We are thrilled to return for this annual event, and look forward to celebrating many more years of Winter Games in Dubuque.”

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Thank you Area Directors!

Special Olympics Iowa serves more than 12,000 athletes and Unified Sports Partners. Nearly 90 Special Olympics events and special programs are held each year throughout the state, giving athletes a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents.

Thousands of volunteers are utilized each year at both the area and state levels to facilitate and manage sports competitions for the athletes. The key volunteers for scheduling and implementing the area competitions are the area directors. These volunteers understand and promote the Special Olympics mission, goals and philosophies.

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FIT Program Success: Fall and Winter Sports

FIT-logo-verticalThe fall Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) athletes have found success with the FIT Program! Thirty-two athletes have completed the program thus far by finishing the pre-assessment, FITness training, and post-assessment.

These athletes are split between four delegations. Delegation 1 performed the 10-station assessment with an average improvement of 37.82 percent among its three athletes. Delegation 2 saw an overall average improvement of 24.92 percent in their modified 5-station assessment with sixteen athletes. Delegation 3 saw an average improvement of 19.13 percent for its five-station assessment as well as an average weight loss of 13.33 pounds per person with the three athletes! Delegation 4 improved by 11.42 percent with the 10-station assessment for 10 athletes.

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