ISSDA Supports Iowa Special Olympics

Building Partnerships Across Iowa

Special Olympics Iowa has been serving the needs of children and adults with intellectual disabilities for more than 50 years. The organization provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in 23 Olympic-style sports, and reaches athletes in all 99 counties of Iowa. The largest grassroots effort for Special Olympics Iowa is the Law Enforcement Torch Run® which was launched in 1987 by a group of law enforcement professionals. This dedicated team helps advance the mission of Special Olympics Iowa to provide meaningful and lasting opportunities to those with intellectual disabilities. Through our partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, we are at the forefront of building new opportunities for athletes, and Special Olympics Iowa is seeking committed partners to help advance our mission.


Law Enforcement Torch Run week

During Torch Run week, communities host a run and ceremony to create awareness for the local Special Olympics athletes and the upcoming State Summer Games. Law Enforcement officers carry the Flame of Hope through their town and have a celebration ceremony which includes local dignitaries, pep bands and comments about personal experiences from Special Olympics athletes. This is a great way for the community to join together and share in the accomplishments of their local heroes. The Final Leg takes place on Thursday and law enforcement officers carry the torch from Des Moines to Ames. When the Torch arrives in Ames Special Olympics athletes join the group to run the Torch in to Hilton Coliseum where the site of the Special Olympics Iowa State Summer Games are held each year. At the conclusion of the Opening Ceremonies the officers will hand off the torch to an athlete who in turns lights the cauldron to officially kick off the State Summer Games.


Partnering to Transform Lives

Special Olympics Iowa has community at the heart of its efforts. With a focus on improving the lives of those with intellectual disabilities, it is the sense of community and collaboration that creates lasting memories and changes lives. Through our efforts, we help children and adults with intellectual disabilities reach their full potential. The inclusion that is the foundation of Special Olympics Iowa changes the lives of our athletes and extends to enhance families, schools and communities. The Special Olympics Iowa community is committed to providing exceptional service and helping children and families.


We appreciate the Iowa State Sheriffs & Deputies Association’s commitment to our organization and the Law Enforcement Torch Run which will be held May 20-24.