You may have seen the above logo recently at Special Olympics Iowa events, on T-shirts or in newsletters. First launching during the 2016 Summer Games, SOIA’s INCLUSION logo was created to continue the conversation of opportunity for all, and to remind athletes, families and volunteers of the values Special Olympics was built on.
Of course, INCLUSION is not just a logo printed on a sweatshirt or posted on a flyer. It’s much more than just a word, too. It’s a theme. A theme that SOIA hopes will help spread our mission of giving athletes 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.
Because of this, the INCLUSION theme was built from the words that our athletes felt were important to them and described their experiences with Special Olympics. That’s why specific words appear in the letters of the INCLUSION logo.
Athletes are inspired by the sports they play and inspire others when they work hard and show dedication in everything they do. They find friendship and unity within SOIA. And that leads to finding courage and pride in their everyday lives. With the inclusion in SOIA sports and events, athletes find joy and ultimately acceptance. All of this can help transform attitudes and stigmas about what it means to have different abilities.
We encourage everyone to continue to practice the INCLUSION theme on and off the field, and to use our athletes’ words to promote inclusion for all.
Thank you from all of us at Special Olympics Iowa!