Dubuque , IA With the support of the Dubuque Racing Association as a Statewide Partner, the 2013 Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) Winter Games will bring approximately 413 athletes from across the state to Dubuque to compete in the annual event January 14-16. It is the 28th Annual Winter Games.
SOIA Director of Sports and Competition Rhonda Schwarzkopf said, "Athletes of all ages and abilities will participate in various sports and activities." The Grand Harbor Hotel, Sundown Ski Area, Grand River Center, Albrecht Acres and Mystique Community Ice Center will host the competitions and activities.
The sports include Alpine and Nordic skiing, figure skating, snowshoeing, speed skating and more. "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 Schwarzkopf.
A highlight of the event is the Opening Ceremonies on Monday, January 14 at 6 p.m. 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," said Schwarzkopf. In addition to the sporting events, there will be a sports banquet at the Grand River Center, a dance and pool party.
Special Olympics Iowa is a nonprofit organization serving Iowans with intellectual disabilities since 1968. SOIA provides year-round training and competitions in 23 Olympic-type sports for nearly11, 000 athletes and Unified Sports Partners representing each of Iowa's 99 counties.
For more information visit the SOIA website at www.soiowa.org or call 515-986-5520. "Like" SOIA on Facebook for the latest news and photos.