Special Olympics

Athletes compete in the 400-meter race at Lied Recreation Athletic Center on May 24, 2014.

The annual Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games will take place at Iowa State Thursday through Saturday, and will feature multiple athletic events, award ceremonies and camps.

The largely volunteer-driven event will host about 2,600 athletes and 1,200 coaches. 

The games will start at 8:30 p.m. Thursday with tennis singles matches and individual skills at the Forker Tennis Courts and will end with the track and field events at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The sports included in the summer games will consist of aquatic events, track and field, bocce ball, cycling, soccer and skills games and tennis. 

The games will officially kick off with the Opening Ceremony at 7 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum. A torch leg run from Des Moines to Ames will feature the symbolic torch lighting, which will also take place at Hilton Coliseum. 

“Youth and adult athletes across the state have been training all year to prepare for the Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Iowa CEO Gary Harms in a press release. "As they have for so many years, the people of Ames and Iowa State University open their arms, their facilities, their city and, most importantly, their hearts, in doing a tremendous job of hosting and welcoming our athletes.”

Admission to the games is free and is open to the public and the release says "the public is encouraged to attend and cheer on the athletes as they compete"

More information can be found on the Special Olympics Iowa website at soiowa.org

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