Special Olympics winter games kick off Jan. 14
DUBUQUE — The 2013 Special Olympics Iowa Winter Games will bring approximately 413 athletes from across the state to Dubuque to compete in the 28th annual event Jan. 14-16.
Competition will include alpine and Nordic skiing, figure skating, snowshoeing and speed skating. Additionally, there will be a sports banquet at the Grand River Center, a dance and pool party.
“We have more than 170 coaches and chaperones, as well as 300 volunteers who will donate their time to serve the athletes and make this event a success,” said Rhonda Schwarzkopf, SOIA director of sports and competition.
A highlight of the event is the opening ceremonies scheduled at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Grand Harbor Hotel. It includes a parade along the River Walk to the River Center Patio, and an athlete lighting the flame to officially kick off the games.
“The opening ceremonies and the competitions are excellent times for the public to attend and show their support for the athletes,” added Schwarzkopf.
The Grand Harbor Hotel, Sundown Ski Area, Grand River Center, Albrecht Acres and Mystique Community Ice Center will host the competitions and activities.
Special Olympics Iowa is a nonprofit organization serving Iowans with intellectual disabilities since 1968. The organization provides year-round training and competitions in 23 Olympic-type sports for nearly 11,000 athletes and Unified Sports Partners representing each of Iowa’s 99 counties.
For information about the winter games, visit www.soiowa.org or call 515-986-5520.