Snow, Medals and Friends
The 2020 Winter Games were full of excitement and for good reason, the weather was great, athletes were seeing success and friendships were made. Whi le in Dubuque, 259 athletes and Unified partners competed in 25 events spanning 5 sports, including Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Snowshoeing and Speed Skating. When athletes were not competing they were able to enjoy time with other athletes at the Opening Ceremony, banquets, dance and swimming party.

Thank You!
A big thank you goes out to all of the volunteers, coaches, sponsors and supporters who made the 2020 Winter Games a great event for our athletes and Unified partners! We couldn't have done it without all of your help and support.

Are you ready for #RespectWeek?
Respect Week, March 2 through the 6, is a campaign created to inspire respect and acceptance by raising awareness and fostering an attitude of acceptance of all individuals and ability levels in our communities. At the state office, we have already begun preparing for the week by decorating office doors. Decorating doors with a "choose to include" theme is just one of the many ways you can celebrate the week. There are countless ways to celebrate the week, so be creative!

Be sure to use the hashtags #InclusionRevolution, #RespectWeek, #ChooseToInclude and #SpecialOlympicsIowa to let the world know what you are doing.
University of Dubuque Holds First Ever
Unified Track Meet
The very first University of Dubuque Unified Track Meet was held on January 19. Special Olympics athletes were paired up with student athletes from the University of Dubuque track and cross country team for the fun day of competition. The Unified track meet gave 54 athletes the opportunity to compete in events like the shuttle relay, broad jump, turbo javelin and 4x200m relay.
"The Unified track meet at the University of Dubuque was a hit for all participants. It is safe to say that everyone left the event with a new friend that day." -Lexxi O’Brien, Special Olympics Iowa Unified Program Coordinator
Fundraising Central
Get Your Torch Run Supporter T-Shirts Today

Each year, law enforcement officers throughout the state sell supporter t-shirts to raise money for Special Olympics Iowa and show their support for the Torch Run. Buy your t-shirt today!

Register to Participate in the First Annual
Cornhole Tournament

Join us on February 15 for the First Annual Cornhole Tournament. The tournament will have two divisions - competitive and social. The morning session will feature the competitive tournament, while the afternoon session will feature the social tournament. There will be cash payouts for the competitive division and gift card prizes for the social division.

Date:  Saturday, February 15, 2020
Location:  Gameon Sports CR (4655 Tower Terrace Rd. Cedar Rapids)
Cost: $60 per team (Teams should include 2 individuals)
Social Session: registration at 1:00 p.m. / bags fly at 2:00 p.m.
Competitive Session: registration at 10:00 a.m. / bags fly at 11:00 a.m.

The "Coolest" Thing You will Do
All Year

Whether you plunge solo or with coworkers, friends or family this is sure to be the "coolest" thing you do this year! The Polar Plunge is a signature fundraiser for Special Olympics and offers a unique opportunity for individuals and organizations to raise money and support Special Olympics Iowa athletes by jumping into frigid waters.

Warren County -Saturday, February 29
Council Bluffs -Saturday, March 21
Cedar Falls/Waterloo -Saturday, April 18
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City-Date TBD

If you are interested in joining your local Polar Plunge planning committee, please reach out to Maddie Nelson by emailing or calling 515.986.5520.
Coaches Corner
Coaches' Guide Available Online!
The 2019-2020 SOIA Coaches' Guide is now available on our website !

Becoming a coach and coaching re-certification is now easier than ever!
Check out our "Become a Coach" page !
You can now become certified/re-certified ONLINE !
Contact Dawn Criss if you have any questions about coaching certification.

Registration Forms Available Online
Registration forms for Challenge Days and Young Athlete Play Days are now available online! Go to the Participation Forms page on our website to view registration forms for all SOIA events.

Share Your Story!
Do you know someone with a great story to share? We're always looking to share our athletes' stories in the newsletter. Please email Karen Whitman with your story ideas.
Event Calendar

Visit our online calendar for event updates!

1- 6th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Dodgeball Tournament
1-West Conference Basketball Tournament
5-Unified Indoor Rowing (University of Iowa)
6-Oskaloosa Young Athletes Play Day
8-Wartburg College Unified Sports Day
8-East Central Conference Basketball Tournament
8-East Central Basketball Skills
8-Southeast Area Basketball Skills
8-Iowa Indoor Rowing Challenge (University of Iowa)
9-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
9-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
13-Southwest Area Bocce Tournament
13-North Central Area Basketball Skills
15-First Annual Cornhole Tournament
15-Northeast Area Basketball Skills
15-West Central Conference Basketball
16-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
16-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
23-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
23-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
29-East Area Swimming
29-Warren County Polar Plunge®

1-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
1-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
2-6 - Respect Week
7-Des Moines Challenge Day
8-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
8-Northeast Area Spring Games
8-Northeast Area Swimming
10-NAIA Basketball Special Olympics Clinic
10-Harlan Young Athletes Play Day
13&14-Mid-Winter Tournament
18-Inclusion Day on the Hill
21-Council Bluffs Polar Plunge®
24-West Des Moines Young Athletes Play Day
26-Northwest Area Swimming
26-North Area Swimming
28-Cedar Falls Challenge Day
29-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
29-Unified Fest at Iowa State University

2-Oskaloosa Young Athletes Play Day
3-ISU Polar Plunge®
3-5 - NIRSA Unified Basketball Championships
4-Central Area Spring Games
4-East Area Spring Games
4-South Central Area Spring Games
5-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
7-Southwest Area Basketball Skills
9-Cedar Rapids Young Athletes Play Day
11-East Central Area Spring Games & Swimming
14-West Central Area Spring Games & Swimming
14-South Central Area Swimming
15-North Area Spring Games
16-North Central Area Spring Games
17-Ames Young Athletes Play Day
18-Northwest Area Spring Games
18-Cedar Falls/Waterloo Polar Plunge®
21-Des Moines Young Athletes Play Day
23-Dubuque Young Athletes Play Day
24-River Hills Young Athletes Play Day
28-Youth Games
29-Des Moines Early Childhood Young Athletes Play Day
30-Ankeny Young Athletes Play Day
30-Texas Roadhouse Lucheon