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Special Olympics athletes take off during the 50m dash event at Lied Recreation Center on May 24. 

Athletes and fans crowded the turf fields at Lied Recreation Athletic Facility to watch the last athletics competitions this Saturday on the third and final day of the Iowa Special Olympics.

Iowa State University served as the host for the Summer Games. Athletes ran on the indoor track at Lied Recreation Athletic Center for their races on Saturday.

The athletics competitions consisted of relays and individual sprints, long distance running and walks on Saturday.

Competition began at 8:30 a.m. and continued into the afternoon, with some races having upwards of eight total heats.

Over the course of the games, athletes had the opportunity to compete in several events including athletics, tennis, soccer, cycling, swimming and bocce (an Italian ball game).

Nearly every event for the Iowa Special Olympics — with the exception of swimming — were held in areas in or between Hilton Coliseum, Forker Building and Lied.

The Iowa Special Olympics aim to provide an opportunity for competition for people affected with special needs of any age, and to promote inclusion in athletics and beyond. At the Olympics, there were competitors from grade school, to senior-level athletes.

The games also provide clinics and checkups, with many athletes taking the opportunity to get eye tests and order prescription glasses and athletic goggles at no cost to them.

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