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Special Olympics

Becoming Better Every Day

The YMCA of the Okobojis is excited to partner with the Special Olympics of Iowa. The Y will be acting as the North Area Directors, providing resources for area coaches and teams to participate in local, regional and state competitions.

North Area Special Olympic Counties – Cerro Gordo, Worth, Hancock, Winnebago, Kossuth, Palo Alto, Emmet, Clay, Dickinson

Sports – Bowling, Basketball, Basketball Skills, Athletics, Aquatics, Track & Field, Bocce, Soccer Skills, Powerlifting


Each year Special Olympics Iowa’s (SOIA) programs are assisted by 14 volunteer area directors, more than 2,000 volunteer certified coaches and 15,000 other volunteers. It is no exaggeration to say that SOIA programs and services could not exist without the generous volunteer spirit of so many Iowans.

Volunteers provide valuable assistance to our athletes in each of our state games, competitions and special events. Volunteer assignments include announcers, award presenters, escorts, recorders, starters, timers and many other valuable positions.


How Many People Does Special Olympics Iowa Serve?

Currently, Special Olympics Iowa serves nearly 11,000 Iowans with intellectual disabilities, participants and Unified Sports Partners.

How Many Iowans have intellectual disabilities?

The World Health Organization estimates between 2-3% of the population have intellectual disabilities. In Iowa, this means between 64,000-96,000 people.

What is the Special Olympics Athlete Oath?

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

What impact does Special Olympics have on Athletes?

Children and adults with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics develop improved physical fitness and motor skills, greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image. They grow mentally, socially and spiritually and, through their activities, exhibit boundless courage and enthusiasm, enjoy the rewards of friendship and ultimately discover not only their abilities and talents but “their voices” as well.

What is Special Olympics' Mission?

To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Who is eligible to participate in Special Olympics?

To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, you must be identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specifically designed instruction. It does not cost anything to participate.