2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Finalists Announced

January 04, 2011

For Immediate Release

ashington, D.C. Special Olympics International has announced two finalists to host the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2015: Los Angeles, California andSouth Africa.

After a review of bid questionnaires by the Games Committee of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, these two finalists were chosen because of their clear capability to host a world class event for Special Olympics and to advance the key priorities of the Special Olympics movement. The Special Olympics International Board of Directors will announce the selection of the host for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in late May 2011, following a special meeting. 

“We are thrilled to announce that Los Angeles and South Africa are the two final candidates for hosting the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.  Both bids feature outstanding leadership, a rich tradition in hosting global events, world class venues and unique possibilities for Special Olympics athletes to demonstrate to the world their extraordinary talents,” said Donna De Varona, Co-Chair of the Games Committee and Olympic gold medalist.

Each bid is strongly supported by its local Special Olympics Program, with specific details on the finalists as follows:

• Los Angeles, California:  Los Angeles is known as one of the leading sports and entertainment cities in the world. Not only is Los Angeles one of the top global media markets, but it has had experience and success hosting worldwide competitions, including the 1984 Olympic Games and the International Summer Special Olympics Games in 1972. The combined contributions of community and sports business leaders who comprise the Bid Committee, as well as strong local support from Special Olympics Southern California, make Los Angeles a strong candidate to host the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

• South Africa:  In South Africa, the phrase ‘ubuntu’ means the power of community.  South Africa’s ‘ubuntu’ spirit foster’s the Special Olympics vision of acceptance and inclusion for all,  and holding the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in South Africa has great potential to impact the entire African community well beyond the borders of South Africa.  South Africa has successfully hosted major global sports events, most recently the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Special Olympics South Africa has shown strong support to welcome the World Games to their country.

Every two years, thousands of Special Olympics athletes worldwide come together to showcase their athletic skills and celebrate the spirit of Special Olympics in World Games competition.  The first Special Olympics World Games took place in 1968 and, since then, Special Olympics World Games have evolved into world-class sporting events, attracting a wide range of sponsors, supporters and media.

Alternating between Summer Games and Winter Games, Special Olympics World Games bring public attention to the talents and capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities, helping to change attitudes and break down barriers that excluded them from the mainstream of the community.  The next Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held in 2011 in Athens, Greece and the next World Winter Games will be held in South Korea in 2013.  For more information about the upcoming 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games visit www.athens2011.org.

Global media professionals, including print, online, broadcast and photo press, are invited to apply for accreditation to cover the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens by applying online and then clicking the media registration form button to complete and submit registration.

About Special Olympics:
Special Olympics is an international non-profit organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to nearly 3.5 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition health screenings, and other related programs.  Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in all regions of the world and in community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood’s backyard.  Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.

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CONTACT:
Mandy Murphy
Special Olympics Inc.
+1 (202) 824-0227     
mamurphy@specialolympics.org

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