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Los Angeles 2015

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles will feature summer sports such as athletics and swimming among teams from all corners of the earth. Mohamed Gaballa, a Special Olympics swimmer from Egypt, aspires to compete in Los Angeles next year.

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games open on 25 July 2015 in  Los Angeles, California. The 2015  Games will feature competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football (soccer) and many other summer sports involving 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world.

Quick Facts

  • The 2015 Games will be the 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games. 
  • The Games are scheduled for 25 July to 2 August 2015 
  • LA 2015 will mark the first World Summer Games held in the U.S. in 16 years. 
  • The LA2015 website is at www.LA2015.org
  • Volunteers are needed. Here's how.

California, Here We Come

Los Angeles is set to welcome more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 nations to compete in 25 Olympic-type sports.  It's a world stage for our athletes to demonstrate on the playing field their courage, determination and spirit of sportsmanship.

The most recent World Summer Games were in Athens, Greece in 2011. The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games could bring as many as a half-million people to the greater Los Angeles area from 25 July to 2 August 2015. The Special Olympics World Summer Games will return to the United States after 16 years, having last been held in the United States in 1999 in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

“These Games will change the lives of people around the world who are mistreated and excluded because they’re ‘different,’”  said Patrick McClenahan, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee.


LA 2015 Sports

  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Judo
  • Kayaking
  • Open Water Swim
  • Powerlifting
  • Rollerskating
  • Sailing
  • Table Tennis
  • Team Handball
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

Changing Attitudes

The Games also are a chance for spectators and volunteers to have their preconceptions about people with intellectual disabilities changed forever. Getting involved with the Games by cheering from the stands or handing out cups of water to thirsty athletes is a sure way to change your view of people of all kinds.

Special Olympics World Games -- and all of the 80,000 Special Olympics competitions that occur every year--invite the public to see the talents and capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities. It's a way to open eyes, to change attitudes and to break down barriers that excluded people with ID from the mainstream of community.

The Los Angeles Games will also provide a venue for global discussions and action on the impact Special Olympics can have on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. More than 200 million people worldwide have an intellectual disability, making it the largest disability group worldwide. Intellectual disability crosses racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic lines, and can occur in any family.

Volunteers and supporters are also essential to make the World Games a success. To apply to be one of the 30,000 volunteers for the World Games please visit: www.LA2015.org/volunteer. To help raise funds to cover costs associated with the visiting athletes, please visit support.la2015.org. For more information about the World Games, please visit www.LA2015.org/ and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram


Stories about the 2015 Games


March 24, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Cyprus

Reach Up L.A.

By GEORGIOS PANAYIDES

Special Olympics Cyprus with the cooperation with the Cyprus Sport Organization organized a fabulous event, on Friday March 20th. Particularly, all Delegation members took pictures together with a various celebrities of the Cyprus society.View Story Special Olympics Cyprus with the cooperation with the Cyprus Sport Organization organized a fabulous event, on Friday March 20th. Particularly, all Delegation members took pictures together with a various celebrities of the Cyprus society. Professional football players, athletes of athletics, of taekwondo of shooting, retired athletes took part in the campaign Reach up L.A. The event sponsored by the ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Sports Organization. The Ministry of Education, Dr. Costas Kadis mentioned in his speech that, the L.A. Games is an extraordinary event and the government of Cyprus Supports the athletes, the coaches and the board of Directors for their volunteering contribution. The ministry and the Cyprus Sports Organization will contribute in any way the Cyprus Delegation.

About GEORGIOS PANAYIDES:office director
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March 24, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Ireland

Actor Liam Neeson Lends his Voice to Special Olympics Short Film

By Maureen Rabbitt

The ‘Be A Champion’ video was produced for Special Olympics by Atomic Sport with the support of the Irish Sports Council.

The Hollywood star narrates a specially commissioned short film titled 'Be A Champion', celebrating the prowess and dedication of the 88 athletes who will represent Team Ireland at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles this summer.View Story The Hollywood star narrates a specially commissioned short film titled 'Be A Champion', celebrating the prowess and dedication of the 88 athletes who will represent Team Ireland at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles this summer. Often when a child is born with an intellectual disability their parents are told not to expect much for their life. Special Olympics helps people with intellectual disabilities reveal their inner champion. By providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports, children and adults with intellectual disabilities are given continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. 7,000 athletes representing 177 countries and competing in 20 sports will participate in LA 2015.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am responsible for Communications & Branding at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
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March 20, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Spain

Paul McGinley to Host Golf Classic for Special Olympics at PGA Catalunya Resort

By Maureen Rabbitt

Winning captain of The 2014 Ryder Cup, Paul McGinley, will host a Golf Classic at Spain’s number one golf course, PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course on May 18, 2015. The event will help raise funds to send Special Olympics athletes to the World Summer Games in Los Angeles in July.View Story Winning captain of The 2014 Ryder Cup, Paul McGinley, will host a Golf Classic at Spain’s number one golf course, PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course on May 18, 2015. The event will help raise funds to send Special Olympics athletes to the World Summer Games in Los Angeles in July. Commenting on the upcoming event, Paul McGinley said: “I am happy to partner with Special Olympics, an organisation that, through sport, helps transforms lives. I am extremely supportive of its efforts in raising awareness of the talent and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, as well as empowering athletes to reach their full potential. “By staging the Golf Classic at PGA Catalunya Resort, a world class golf course and on every golfer’s “must play” list, I hope many will join me in Spain to support a great cause. I anticipate this being a truly exciting event,” added Paul. Special guests include European Tour Player, Peter Lawrie, and Special Olympics athlete, Eduardo Vegas Ochoa.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am responsible for Communications & Branding at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
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March 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Lebanon

Sarah "The Lebanese Water Girl" is getting ready for LA

By Noha Gaballa

Sarah celebrates another swimming victory.

“I’m going to win, grab the gold medal and achieve my goal,” said Sarah, a 24- year-old swimmer with Special Olympics Lebanon. She has been engaged in swimming since she was 6, and prefers swimming short sprints in freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.View Story “I’m going to win, grab the gold medal and achieve my goal,” said Sarah, a 24- year-old swimmer with Special Olympics Lebanon. She has been engaged in swimming since she was 6, and prefers swimming short sprints in freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. Her love of the water is the reason why she has turned out to be a real champion. Moreover, she attended and passed advanced courses in swimming which were given by famous world champion swimmers in Europe. Sarah is a teachers assistant in the nursery; she trains young children and helps them in all their daily activities. Furthermore, she got a certificate in a hotel management course. Sara participated in many Special Olympics regional and world games that took place in Egypt, Syria, Greece and Chin,a and she returned back every time with gold medals. Her next stop is Los Angeles for the the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, starting July 25. She gathered all her medals, trophies cups and displayed it in one place and she said that she will try to find out a bigger place after she is back from LA with new medals.

About Noha Gaballa:I am a writer for Special Olympics in the Middle East-North Africa Region.
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March 11, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

I'm Fernendo Rios and I'm a Champion

By Paola Martinelli

Fernando started participating in athletics, basketball and swimming – his current sport. His family, teachers and friends are very pleased with the accomplishments that Fernando has had thanks to his perseverance and effort.View Story Fernando Rios Duran was born in Villa Avila Camacho, Xicotepec - Puebla on April 7, 1995. His parents are Mrs. Gaona Epiphany Duran and Juan Vargas Rios. Fernando has a mild intellectual disability. When he was born he presented hypoxia, which resulted in disabilities in his motor development. Fernando began his story in Special Olympics in a event organized by the Movement near his school zone. He started participating in athletics, basketball and swimming – his current sport. His family, teachers and friends are very pleased with the accomplishments that Fernando has had thanks to his perseverance and effort. Fernando is very excited and he cannot believe that he will be traveling by plane; it is the first time he will travel by plane. He is also very excited to know another country and what motivates him the most is that he will make friends with people from different parts of the world.

About Paola Martinelli:Directora Nacional de Comunicación y Mercadotecnia
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Special Olympics Blog

Jean Vanier, a prophet of humility and simplicity, wins!

Today, the Templeton Foundation gave its most prestigious award to my hero, Jean Vanier.  For Linda and our children and me, he has also been our retreat leader, our teacher of humility, our guide. 

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Posted on 2015-03-11 by Tim

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