California - One year from today more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will march into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, cheered on by 80,000 spectators as part of the Opening Ceremony for the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event in 2015 - the Special Olympics World Games 2015 (LA2015). The Special
Olympics World Games have been held since 1968, founded by Eunice
Kennedy Shriver, who had a vision to create a world that is
inclusive of all people, including those with intellectual disabilities.
Next year's Special Olympics World
Summer Games are the first to be held in the United States in 16
years; the most recent Summer Games were held in Athens, Shanghai
and Dublin. The upcoming Los Angeles World Games will be the
largest sporting event hosted by the city since the 1984 Summer
Olympic Games. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with
the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of
courage and skill that are the hallmarks of all Special Olympics
events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout
the Los Angeles region. Before any competition begins, 100 host
towns from across Southern California will welcome participating
athletes with three days of local cultural experiences.
"In 365 days, we will have the
opportunity to raise the awareness that leads to acceptance and
inclusion for 200 million people worldwide with intellectual
disabilities," said Patrick McClenahan, President and Chief
Executive Officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. "There
is still much more to do, but momentum is on our side, and these
Games will change the lives of people around the world who are
mistreated and excluded because they're 'different.'"
In addition to the sporting events,
the Special Olympics World Games also provide participating
athletes with access to the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program. Through this program, volunteer healthcare professionals
will provide free screenings and health services for the athletes
on site. To date, the Healthy Athletes program has conducted 1.4
million exams for people with intellectual disabilities in 120
countries and has trained over 120,000 healthcare
"For athletes like me, the one-year
countdown brings the excitement of the competition of the World
Games a little closer to reality," said Debi Anderson, World Games
Global Messenger. "The time for all of the athletes to shine and
show the world what we can do will be here before we know it. I
can't wait to join with the American public in welcoming my fellow
athletes from around the world."
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 www.support.la2015.org.
For more information about the World Games, please visit www.LA2015.org/one-year-away and
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