USA Games: Team Iowa to earn
27 Gold, 20 Silver, and 8 Bronze
The Fourth Annual USA Games took place on July 1-6, 2018 in Seattle. More than 4,000 Special Olympics athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated, all in search of gold. Team Iowa was among those and included: 10 Coaches, 29 Athletes, 4 Unified Partners, and 3 Athlete Leadership Experience members.

There were 14 Olympic-type sports offered at the USA Games. Out of those 14, Team Iowa competed in: athletics (track and field), flag football, powerlifting, swimming, tennis, unified bocce, and unified bowling. Overall, Team Iowa had a final medal count of 27 gold, 20 silver, and 8 bronze. Among those medals included powerlifter Mitchell Betsworth (pictured above), who earned 3 gold and 1 silver.

Mitchell says, "I loved competing and meeting all the athletes from around the country. It was great to make a lot of new friends not only from Iowa, but nationwide." Mitchell's father, Troy, who is also his coach made the trip to Seattle as well. "What I remember most about coaching Mitchell and Brad Small were the nerves. I was so nervous that I got down on one knee and thought I was giving Mitchell my last words of encouragement, and realized I was firing up a lifter from New Hampshire instead of my son!" "The coaches are constantly cheering for all of the lifters to do their best, so it was fitting" Betsworth commented.

Team Iowa's Journey
Check out photos from the USA Games by going to our Facebook.
Truck Raffle for SOIA
Buy a $5 Ticket for Your Chance to Win This 2018 Ford F-150!
Purchase Tickets From Any Special Olympics Iowa Delegation
From the State Office
Give Us A Call At 515-986-5520 or email .

Special Olympics Iowa athlete chosen to kick off USA Games
Josh Hickey was one of six athletes chosen to carry the torch to kick off the 2018 USA Games. Josh is an athlete from the Dubuque Packers Team, and competes in seven sports year round. This was his second USA games. While in Seattle, Josh competed in the five Pentathlon events. His grandmother passed away 11 months ago, and he dedicated Summer Games and Nationals in honor of her. His grandmother would travel with his parents from Dubuque to Ames each summer to watch him compete. When asked about his experience at USA Games, Josh said, "It was incredible, the community support was beyond incredible, and it was an awesome opportunity to be able to carry the torch in to kick off the games." His Aunt & Uncle were in Seattle and had front row seats to watch Josh carry the torch.

"Josh is a very competitive athlete. Always putting in all the practice time for each sport. A great junior leader for other athletes, giving them guidance and suggestions with training," said Coach Mary Sue Green.
50th Anniversary Celebrated in Chicago
To celebrate its 50th Anniversary , Special Olympics returned to Chicago, where the first ever Special Olympics were held. The week-long event included celebration, competition and various events to celebrate and promote the Inclusion Revolution. Special Olympics held the first ever Unified Cup throughout the week, where Team Iowa sent Epworth Western Dubuque High School’s Unified Cheer team to help cheer on the athletes participating. The cheer squad had a great time, meeting new friends, celebrating the anniversary, and getting to cheer inside Soldier Field!

Chief Deputy Randy Spurr from Warren County Sheriff’s Office participated in the commemorative Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. He helped run the torch to Soldier Field where they lit the Eternal Flame of Hope. As a part of the Inclusion Revolution, there were over 225 landmarks throughout the world lit up red . The 50 th Celebration concluded with a special concert featuring artists O.A.R., Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz, Francis and the Lights, Usher and Chance the Rapper. The 50th Anniversary Celebration was the perfect way to remember the last 50 years. Now, we are preparing for our next 50 years by creating the foundation for more memories, moments, and medals through our #inclusionrevolution.
State Softball Presented by
Sammons Financial Group to
take place on August 4th
The Special Olympics Iowa State Softball Tournament sponsored by Sammons Financial Group highlights the end of summer each August. Athletes play slow-pitch softball, which involves two teams of 10 athletes each. Softball can also be played as a Unified Sport, joining athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. This year, 21 traditional teams, 5 Unified teams, and over 60 softball skills athletes will be competing.

Individual skills competition is also offered to allow athletes to train and compete in basic softball skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team competition. These skills include base running, batting, fielding and throwing.

Event Schedule

Date: August 4, 2018
Area Registration Deadline: June 15, 2018
State Registration Deadline: July 25, 2018
Locations: Prairie Ridge Sports Complex, Ankeny

State Softball Tournament Schedule
8:00 a.m.        Delegation Registration
8:30 a.m.        Parade of Athletes Line-up
8:45 a.m.        Opening Ceremony
9:15 a.m.        First Softball Games & Softball Skills Competition
11:00 a.m.       Lunch begins with no break in play

Event Links
Team Iowa Sends Two Youth Leadership Experience Members to USA Games
The first ever Youth Leadership Experience (YLE) was hosted during the USA Games in Seattle. The goals of the YLE was to provide school aged youth leaders from around the nation with learning experiences that they would later be able to apply in their own states. Special Olympics Iowa was one of thirty-eight states who sent a Unified pair of youth leaders to this experience. In the fall of 2017 Special Olympics Iowa selected Alyssa Noblin and Audrey Welty of Western Dubuque High School to represent our state. Of the 41 Unified Champion Schools in Iowa, Western Dubuque High School has become a model program in the state of Iowa as well as the Midwest. The experiences these two young ladies had include professional shadowing, event management, social media & story reporting and program support at a professional level.

During the event management section the youth leaders were given the opportunity to help lead a Young Athletes program which was an incredible experience! Nearly 100 young athletes participated in their first ever Special Olympics program and each of them were led by members of the YLE from a different state! Looking to the future, Alyssa Noblin will be entering her sophomore year of high school this year in Western Dubuque and intends to share stories from her experience at the USA Games YLE as a way to further develop the Special Olympics program in her community. Audrey Welty will be starting her freshman year at the University of Northern Iowa and intends to use her knowledge and experiences to develop a campus club to help support Special Olympics Iowa programming at the college level!
Dubuque Unified Golf Tournament
On July 21st, 13 Unified Pairs (Mini Golf) and 24 Unified Partners (9-hole golf) took on Derby Grange Golf Course in Dubuque to compete in a Unified Golf Tournament . This tournament included 74 participants, and is one of nine Unified Golf Tournaments offered by Special Olympics Iowa this fall. Learn more about Unified Golf, and get the full list of upcoming tournaments here.

For more information about Unified Sports, contact:
Bryan Coffey , Unified Sports Director
515-986-50520 x119
50 For 50 Years
2018 marks 50 years for the Special Olympics. That means 50 years of our volunteers, staff, and supporters working tirelessly to achieve our mission – a world without discrimination. A world where individuals with intellectual disabilities can tap their untold potential and live their lives to the fullest.

Special Olympics Iowa asks you to join us in celebrating 50 years of bliss, bravery and empowerment by donating in our  $50 for 50 campaign  in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics. With each $50 donation, donors will get their choice of a limited-edition commemorative 50th Anniversary Gold Pin or Gold Coin.

Special Olympics Iowa is so proud of what has been accomplished over the past 50 years. With 5 million served in over 172 countries, we have changed many lives all over the world. Help us continue to make a difference in athlete’s lives.
Pigskin Madness tickets for Sale!

Help us sell Pigskin Madness tickets or purchase yours today! For just $20, you have 8 chances to win each week of the NFL regular football season (17 weeks).

Purchase your ticket today, or help us sell books by clicking on this link.
Athletes Invited to Monthly Karaoke Night
Discounted Iowa Tickets for SOIA Athletes
The Iowa Hawkeyes invite all Special Olympics Iowa athletes and their families to enjoy the excitement of Iowa Hawkeye football this fall. Take advantage of discounted group rates to five home games. Youth tickets are only $25 for high school ages and younger. Adult ticket prices vary for each game. 

Game Options:
September 1 – Iowa vs Northern Illinois, Time: TBA. Regular ticket price $50.
Adult Tickets: $35. Youth Tickets: $25.
September 15 – Iowa vs. UNI, Time: TBA. Regular ticket price: $50
Adult Tickets: $35. Youth Tickets: $25.
October 20 – Iowa vs Maryland. Time: TBA. Regular ticket price: $65
Adult Tickets: $55. Youth Tickets: $25.
November 10 – Iowa vs Northwestern. Time: TBA. Regular ticket price: $65
Adult Tickets: $55. Youth Tickets: $25.
November 23 – Iowa vs Nebraska. Time: TBA. Regular ticket price: $75
Adult Tickets: $60. Youth Tickets: $25.

Orders will be seated together. Orders are filled on a first come, first serve basis. Game may be subject to sellout. Tickets are mailed 2-4 weeks prior to each game. For questions or to order by phone, contact Bravo Sports at 319-626-8286.
Casey's Promotion
Thank you to our Statewide Partner Casey's General Stores for running another successful Casey's Campaign. During the month of June, Casey's stores across the state of Iowa sold $1 pin-ups in-store with proceeds going to Special Olympics Iowa. They also featured Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement volunteers
on their 44 oz. cups.

Thank you Casey's and thank you to everyone who helped raise money for SOIA by donating! Look for a final total raised on the promotion at a later date!
Upcoming Fundraising Events at SOIA
Culver's ButterBurgers ® & Badges

Join us at our First Annual ButterBurgers & Badges ® event at participating Culver's throughout the state of Iowa on Thursday, August 2nd from 4-8 p.m. Local law enforcement will be greeting customers, helping to serve, and collecting donations for Special Olympics Iowa. There will also be Special Olympic athletes at certain locations you can meet!

Culver's will be donating $1 from each concrete mixer sold during the day to Special Olympics. In addition to this, certain locations will be collecting "Change for Champions," during the month of August.

Jim Jordan Memorial Golf Classic
The Kiwanis Club of Urbandale
presents the Jim Jordan Memorial Golf Classic August 15 at Otter Creek.

2018 Event Details
Date : Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Location : Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny
Cost : $80 per person. All golfers receive 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch and opportunity for prizes. Kiwanis members receive a discount of $10 per person.

Cargill Night at the Ballpark
Join Cargill and Special Olympics Iowa for a night out at the Cedar Rapids Kernels game. In addition to the ballgame, participants will enjoy a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. Special Olympics Iowa athletes who wear a medal or ribbon receive free admission and a meal voucher and will be introduced on-field prior to the game. Please note that staff, coaches, family members, etc. will have to purchase tickets.

Event Details
Date : Saturday, August 25, 2018
Location : Cedar Rapids
Cost : Check back for tickets
Additional Details : Be sure to stick around for fireworks following the game! Athletes must arrive early to receive free admission ticket, meal voucher and to go onto the field to be introduced.

Schedule of Events
7th Inning: 50/50 raffle winner is drawn
TBA: First auction ends
TBA: Second auction ends
TBA: Third auction ends

For more information, contact:
Jeanette Steinfeldt , 515-986-5520
Bocce Coach and Athlete Training Clinic
The purpose of this training clinic is to teach Coaches and Athletes the rules of Bocce and learn how to play the game. We will provide the opportunity to play practice games and practice Bocce Skills in preparation for the Bocce Competition in Summer Games 2019 at Iowa State University. Come learn how to play Bocce!

When: Saturday, August 25th, 2018
Where: Valley Southwoods School Football Field, 625 S 35th St., West Des Moines
Registration: 9:30 a.m.
Clinic Begins: 10 a.m.
Practice Games: 11-2 p.m.
*Lunch will be provided
Register for the clinic, by emailing Bruce Wilson with the names and birth dates of coaches and athletes that will be attending. Deadline for registration is Friday, August 17th. Clinic is open to all Special Olympics athletes.
Coaches Corner 
Coaches' Guide Available Online!
The 2017-2018 SOIA Coaches' Guide is now available on our website !

Getting involved as a coach and re-certification is now easier than ever!
Check out our new "Become a Coach" page:
You can now become certified/re-certified ONLINE

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. If you have a story idea for us about an athlete, coach, volunteer, or family please email Rachel Bosworth at for a chance for them to be featured in the newsletter!
Event Calendar  

Visit our online calendar for event updates!

2- Glenwood Challenge Day
2- Culver's- ButterBurgers and Badges Tip-A-Cop
4- State Softball Tournament (Team and Skills)
12- Spencer Unified Golf
15- Jim Jordan Memorial Golf Classic
25- Cargill Night
25- Bocce Coach & Athlete Training Clinic (Valley Southwest WDM)

4- East Central Area Fall Coaches Meeting
4- NW Area Fall Coaches Meeting
4- NE Fall Coaches Meeting
5- West Central Area Fall Coaches Meeting
6- Southwest Area Fall Coaches Meeting
7- Dunkin' Dounuts Cop on a Rooftop
8- Cedar Rapids Unified Golf
11- South Central Area Fall Coaches Meeting
12- Muscatine Unified Golf
13- Davenport Unified Golf
13- Davenport Unified Bocce
13- North Area Fall Coaches Meeting
15- State Equestrian Competition
21- Northeast Area Soccer Skills
26- River Hills Unified Golf Tournament
28- East Area Bowling
29- Jester Park Unified Golf
29- Back the Blue 5k Pump and Run
30- Cedar Rapids Bocce Coach & Athlete Training Clinic