Some 3,000 Iowa athletes with intellectual disabilities are gearing up for this week’s running of the Special Olympics. Mark Reed, president and CEO of Special Olympics Iowa, says the competition runs for three days in Ames.

“This is the largest Special Olympics Iowa event held each year,” Reed says. “Our athletes travel from all over the state to compete and they’ll be competing in a lot of different activities while they’re here and it’s going to be great.”

Reed said the participants will be involved in all sorts of sports. Events include: swimming, bocce, team soccer, tennis and rollerskating.

He commends the work of Iowa’s law enforcement officers who promote and carry out the Torch Run, involving sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, police officers and others. The final leg of the Torch Run is Thursday as runners will depart downtown Des Moines at midday and head for Ames, where the opening ceremonies will be held that night.

Reed said everyone is invited to witness the competition. “We have some fantastic athletes and they love to have the cheering crowds cheering them on to victory lane,” Reed says. “It’s free to the public. There’s no charge. You can come to the opening ceremonies — it’s quite a thing to see.”

Learn more about Special Olympics at:

Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City