Over 280 athletes and 8 unified partners from 49 delegations across the state are set to compete in the 2019 Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) Winter Games, January 14 and 15 in Dubuque.

“We are excited to have athletes from all across the state representing all different ages and athletic abilities,” said SOIA Director of Sports & Advanced Competitions, Rhonda Schwarzkopf. “There will be athletes who are competing for the first time and others who have been competing for years.  We will even have an athlete who has competed at a World Winter Games competing.”   Athletes will participate in alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, speed skating and figure skating.  The Grand Harbor Resort, Sundown Mountain, Camp Albrecht Acres and Mystique Community Ice Center will play host to the various competitions and activities.   Event Details
What: Special Olympics Iowa Winter Games
When: Monday, January 14 – Tuesday, January 15 Where: Dubuque (Sundown Mountain, Camp Albrecht Acres, Mystique Community Ice Center)    The Winter Games will officially kick-off with the Opening Ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. January 14 at the Grand Harbor Resort. The ceremony includes a parade along the River Walk to the River Center Patio and the Special Olympics Torch lighting.   Preliminary competition will begin on January 14 with time trials for snowshoeing beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Camp Albrecht Acres.  Preliminaries for speed skating will be at Mystique Community Ice Center; alpine skiing and cross country skiing assessments and time trials will take place at Sundown Mountain all starting at 1:00 p.m.   “Going to the Winter Games is always a favorite event of mine and my athletes,” shares Robert Wagner, longtime coach of Winter Game athletes at the state and world levels.  “Winter Games is more of an intimate setting, giving athletes the opportunity to compete during the day and build relationships with other athletes, while eating dinner and participating in social events, in the evening.”   Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA), a statewide nonprofit organization, provides high-quality training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in all 99 counties of Iowa. SOIA offers 23 Olympic-style sports to more than 13,000 athletes and Unified Sports partners year-round.   Since 1968, Special Olympics has provided an inclusive culture that stresses athletic excellence, rewards determination, emphasizes health and celebrates personal achievement. Through Special Olympics sports training and competition, children and adults with intellectual disabilities reach their full potential and experience inclusion in their communities every day.