The Mid-Winter Tournament of the Special Olympics is one of the biggest events in Iowa City and the mid-west. Athletes from across the region converge to showcase their skills. 2018 is the 50th year of the USA’s Special Olympics. The Mid-Winter Tournament took place on March 9-10 at the Iowa City West High School and the University of Iowa Field House. For its 27th year running, the tournament received over 1,000 athletes for a range of events from basketball to powerlifting.
Variety of Skills
The annual Mid-Winter Tournament presents opportunities for athletes to take part in different areas that display diverse talents. There is the basketball competition, which can be played as a team, a half-court 3-on-3 competition, or a showcase of basketball skills. The cheerleading event involves cheer and dance. For the artistic gymnastics competition, female events are the vault, balance beam, and uneven bars. Males can compete in horizontal bars, parallel bars, rings, vault, floor exercises, and pommel horse. There is the rhythmic gymnastics for both male and female athletes, which include ribbon, ball, and hoop vests. The powerlifting section of the tournament consists of bench-pressing, deadlift, and a combination event of the two.
Iowa’s Mid-Winter Tournament of the Special Olympics is made possible by volunteers from the region. Companies in Iowa and across the Mid-West use the opportunity to fulfill their corporate social responsibility by sending some of their employees to volunteer. The event is supported by unified sponsors who partner to give athletes a platform to advance their achievements while showcasing what they can do. Individuals can also provide monetary support through donations. Participants benefit from the Healthy Athletes screening, which is part of the competition. Doctors and specialists conduct examinations for hearing, dental, fitness, and general health. Admission to the public for this event is free, which gives communities a chance to support their own.