Grimes, IA – More than 2,500 athletes, 1,200 coaches and 1,500 volunteers are set to converge on the campus of Iowa State University for the 33rd Annual Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games May 25-27. Events begin Thursday, May 25 with the Torch Run Final Leg bringing the Flame of Hope from downtown Des Moines to Hilton Coliseum for the Opening Ceremonies presented by Hy-Vee beginning at 7 p.m.

Competition will begin Thursday, May 25 at 9:00 a.m. with tennis singles matches and individual skills at the Forker Tennis Courts. Cycling, team bocce, soccer and race walk competitions will also take place that day. Singles bocce, tennis doubles, aquatics, athletics (track and field) and developmental events will take place on Friday, May 26 with athletics competition continuing through Saturday, May 27.

Schedule of Events

“Youth and adult athletes across the state have been training all year to prepare for the Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Iowa CEO Rich Fellingham. “This is their opportunity to compete and show off their skills as they engage with friends in an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance. The people of Ames and Iowa State University always open their facilities, their city and their hearts in doing a tremendous job of hosting and welcoming our athletes.”

Also featured at the games is an Olympic Festival, which is an area for athletes to relax between competitions and interact with sponsors and partners through games and activities. The Olympic Festival will be located on the south side of the Lied Recreation Athletic Center parking lot. 

Healthy Athletes screenings will also be provided to athletes by healthcare professionals for eyesight, dental, hearing, overall health and fitness and more. At more than 1.4 million free health examinations in more than 120 countries, the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.  

Sponsors for the 2017 Summer Games include Ames Chamber and Economic Development, Ames Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Barilla, Beisser Lumber, B-Bops – Ames, Danfoss, Delta Dental, Farm Bureau, Hy-Vee, Iowa Cheerleading Coaches’ Association, Iowa State University, Kingland Systems, Knights of Columbus, Mary Greeley Medical Center, McAninch, McFarland Clinic, Mercedes of Des Moines, Rotary Club of Ames, Sammons Financial Group, UnitedHealthcare, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

The Summer Games are open to the public and admission is free. The public is encouraged to attend and cheer on the athletes as they compete. For more information on Special Olympics Iowa, visit our website at or call 515-986-5520.


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 14,000 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.