Special Olympics and Hilton Worldwide Announce New Global Partnership

June 25, 2011

Special Olympics and Hilton Worldwide announced a new global partnership Friday in which Hilton was declared the official hotel sponsor of the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2011 in Athens, Greece

Paul Brown of Hilton Worldwide, Special Olympics athlete David Egan, Special Olympics International Board Member Michelle Kwan, and Special Olympics Chairman & CEO Tim Shriver

The new partnership was announced at the hotel chain’s Athens property by Hilton Worldwide’s President of Global Brands & Commercial Services, Paul Brown; Olympic medalist and Special Olympics Global Messenger, Michelle Kwan; Special Olympics International Global Messenger, David Egan; and Special Olympics Chairman and CEO, Timothy Shriver.

Hilton Worldwide will also serve as the official hotel sponsor of Special Olympics International through 2014, donating 75 million Hilton HHonor points to the Special Olympics Movement and providing discounted accommodations to athletes and families attending Special Olympics events, including World Games. For each person who ‘likes” the Hilton HHonors Facebook page during the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Hilton will also donate one hundred Hilton HHonors points to Special Olympics.

The new partnership was announced at the hotel chain’s Athens property by Hilton Worldwide’s President of Global Brands & Commercial Services, Paul Brown; Olympic medalist and Special Olympics Global Messenger, Michelle Kwan; Special Olympics International Global Messenger, David Egan; and Special Olympics Chairman and CEO, Timothy Shriver. 

“Getting to know people different from oneself through increased awareness or personal interaction is the enemy of prejudice,” said Brown, “This applies equally to people of different races, ethnicities, religious beliefs or physical and intellectual disabilities.”

Kwan, who recently joined the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, described that “what makes this partnership so special is Hilton’s commitment, not just to these Games, but to the 3.7 million athletes all over the world.  Beyond generous financial support, Hilton is raising awareness and activating their global family to serve as volunteers and supporters of Special Olympics.”

Hilton will celebrate the new partnership by displaying a photo exhibit created by world-renowned photographer Richard Corman titled “Celebrating Special Olympics,” which features photographs of Special Olympics athletes. The collection will be housed at the hotel’s Athens property through the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games and will travel to Hilton properties in five additional cities after the Games. 

Egan enthusiastically welcomed Hilton into the Special Olympics Global family. “The Games stand as a symbol of hope for a more just and unified world,” he exclaimed, “we are here because we believe and respect acceptance, inclusion and human dignity.”  Shriver echoed these remarks, “we are changing the way people think about disabilities and starting a revolution of our own-- a dignity revolution.  Corman’s images perfectly capture our athletes and how they live without walls; they model for us the peace and acceptance we all strive after.”


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