US President and First Lady to Serve as Honorary Chairs of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games

July 30, 2013

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announces President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will serve as Honorary Chairs of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, California.


For Immediate Release

Los Angeles, CA, July 30, 2013 - Mayor Eric Garcetti today extended his support for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles and announced that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have committed to serving as Honorary Chairs of the World Games.  Mayor Garcetti and Governor Brown are serving as Honorary Hosts.

"When 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 countries march into the Coliseum in two years, the spotlight will not only be on Los Angeles - a city that stands for diversity and inclusion - but will shine brightly on the mission of Special Olympics in highlighting the talents of those with intellectual disabilities," Mayor Garcetti said.  "Along with my support and that of the City of Los Angeles, I am proud and honored to acknowledge the commitment of the President and First Lady to this great event.  I am also excited that this unique event will be a major contributor to our city's economy, generating more than $400 million in economic impact."

In a video statement, President Obama said: "Michelle and I are so honored to serve as Co-chairs of this inspiring event.  Special Olympics has a tradition that started more than 50 years ago…at Eunice Kennedy Shriver's house.  Today, that simple day camp has grown into one of the biggest sporting competitions in the world for people with intellectual disabilities.  The athletes coming to these Games represent the grit and determination that's at the very root of the American spirit."

The Mayor noted that the Games - to be held July 25 - August 2, 2015, and featuring 25 Olympic-style events in venues throughout the Los Angeles region - will be the biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games, and the largest sports-and-humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015. Governor Brown also sent a statement of support for the Games, saying, "It's fitting that athletes from around the world will be going for the gold here in the Golden State and we're proud to host the 2015 Special Olympics World Games."

"Having such prominent supporters as the President and First Lady, Governor Brown and Mayor Garcetti is a testament to the powerful mission and message of Special Olympics and how the World Games in 2015 will celebrate that mission," said Patrick McClenahan, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee.

300 x 200 Obama Video Still

President Barack Obama announces his and the First Lady's support for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. See video on the LA2015 Site

About the 2015 Special Olympics World Games

With 7,000 athletes representing 170 countries, along with 3,000 coaches, 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games - being staged in Los Angeles July 25 - August 2, 2015 - will be the largest sports-and-humanitarian event anywhere in the world that year, and the biggest single event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.  The 2015 World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, hospitality and joy that are trademarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style events in venues throughout the Los Angeles region, following the Opening Ceremony in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games.  The Games Organizing Committee, LA2015, is a recognized 501(c)(3), with funding coming almost exclusively from private sources, including the generous support of such Founding Champions and sponsors as AEG, The Coca-Cola Company, Davis Elen Advertising, Deloitte, Kaiser Permanente, Mattel Inc., The Walt Disney Company, David Geffen and Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw.  For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, visit

About Special Olympics and the World Games

Every two years, thousands of Special Olympics athletes worldwide come together to showcase their athletic skills and celebrate the spirit of Special Olympics in alternating World Summer and World Winter Games. The first Special Olympics World Games took place in 1968 and since then have evolved into a world-class sporting event, attracting a wide range of sponsors, supporters and media. Special Olympics World Games bring public attention to the talents and capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities and are a capstone to more than 70,000 competitions that happen at all levels of Special Olympics each year. Special Olympics sports training and competitions, supported by a number of non-sports activities in the areas of health and education, help to change attitudes and break down barriers that exclude people with intellectual disabilities from the mainstream of the community.


Marc Grossman - Senior VP Communications
2015 Special Olympics World Games

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