Competitors return to campus

The lineup of summer visitors to campus kicks off this month with two groups with an extended history at Iowa State.

Odyssey of the Mind (OM), the creative problem solving competition for students from elementary grades through college, brings its world finals competition to campus May 25-28 for the 11th time. The first world finals at ISU was in 1990; the most recent was in 2018.

OM also sponsored a virtual world finals in late April, so this in-person event won't be as large as previous competitions in Ames.

About 7,000 guests are expected, 4,800 of whom are team members and coaches who will live in Union Drive, Richardson Court and Geoffroy residence halls and eat in ISU Dining's three dining centers: Seasons, Union Drive Marketplace and Friley Windows. Judges, OM staff and volunteers will stay in area hotels.

Competitions will be held in auditoriums and ballrooms across campus, including Memorial Union, Lied Recreation and Sukup-Elings, Coover, Estes Music, Howe and Pearson halls. Evening events -- opening ceremony, parade, graduation and awards ceremonies -- will be held Wednesday through Saturday at Hilton Coliseum.

OM participants also will have access to campus recreation facilities.

Iowa Special Olympics

The Iowa Special Olympics' Summer Games returns next week, Thursday morning through Saturday morning, May 19-21. An estimated 3,500 athletes and coaches and 1,200 volunteers, along with athletes' families and friends, will visit campus.

The competitions will be held in Beyer (swimming), Lied Recreation (track and field), recreation fields east of Lied Recreation and Maple-Willow-Larch (soccer and bocce, respectively), Forker (track and field developmental events), Forker tennis courts and Iowa State Center south lots (cycling). Hilton Coliseum will be the site for the opening ceremony Thursday (7-9 p.m.) and a dance Friday (7-9 p.m.).

Some athletes will stay overnight in the Willow and Larch residence halls. Friley Windows and Seasons Marketplace and East Side Market (MWL commons) will be open to athletes and families.

Road and lot closures during summer games

On Thursday and Friday (7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily), Beach Road will be closed to through traffic between Lincoln Way and the south entrance to the power plant. On Thursday only (8 a.m.-5 p.m.), South 4th Street will be closed for cycling events from Beach Avenue to just west of the entrance to stadium parking lots. 

Numerous parking lots will be closed to ISU permit holders during the summer games, either for participant parking or use as an event site. They are:

  • All Iowa State Center lots south of Center Drive, Thursday, May 19 (12:01 a.m.-5 p.m.): Closed for cycling events. ISU commuter parking moves to the stadium parking lots, and the CyRide orange shuttle will route through lots S6 and S8. Exception: Alumni association employees may use Lot A2.
  • Lot 3 (north of Beyer), Friday, May 20 (all day): Reserved for Lot 3 ISU 24-hour reserve permits and handicap permits.
  • Lot 50A (west of Forker), Thursday and Friday (all day): Reserved for ISU reserved permits and summer games participants with disabled parking permits
  • Lot 57 (west of Lied Recreation), Thursday and Friday (all day): Closed to ISU parking permits, reserved for vehicles with special permits.
  • Lot 100 (south of Lied Recreation), Thursday, Friday and Saturday (all day): Closed to all vehicles, designated site for Special Olympics festival, clinics and souvenir sales. Note: In addition, some sections of Lot 100 will close for event set-up Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Additional lots closed for Special Olympics functions and safety considerations, Thursday and Friday (all day): Lots 54, 54A, 56, 63, 66, 67, 80, 82, 83, 89, 90 and 91.