Special Olympics athletes competing in the Dome on March 5

The Special Olympics heads back to Cedar Falls as it makes its way to the UNI campus for multiple different sports. One of the headliners is track and field, which will take place in the UNI Dome. This event has been hosted by UNI for many years. On Sunday, March 5, athletes will pave their way to greatness as they take place in the track and field events. 

Mike Babinat is 73 years old, and he has been helping with this event for many years. As he runs around town gathering supplies for this event, they also need volunteers.

“This event is truly something special. It is amazing that everyone gets the opportunity to compete, and at the end of the day everyone’s a winner. Seeing people come get active and coming to compete is truly something special. This event has been close to my heart for years.” Babinat said. 

He has been volunteering for this event since he retired from John Deere. “We always can use volunteers. It is great to have people to help time the events, do the athlete check in and help the athletes,” he said.. 

On March 4, in Urbandale, the Special Olympics of Iowa is hosting a pickleball tournament. March 5, while track and field will be the headliner in Cedar Falls at the UNI Dome. Also, the Northeast swim meet will be held on the 5th, at the University of Northern Iowa Wellness center. On March 11, the athletes will continue their athletic competition, taking it to Coralville and Iowa City for the Special Olympics Iowa Classic. 

After these early spring competitions, the athletes will go back to training until the summer, where they compete in the summer games Special Olympics. It is an opportunity for everyone to be involved in something, no matter the ability level that they have. All disabilities are able to participate, as they have multiple categories to make sure that everyone can participate. The Special Olympics committee provides support and a lot of different sports. 

The sports that this league consists of are cycling, track and field, soccer, swimming, tennis, bowling, flag football, equestrian, golf, volleyball and many winter sports options. This helps expand the growth of the event and enables everyone to be involved no matter the sport that they like. 

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