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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/one-year-away and on social with #TheWorldisComing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 


Stories about the 2015 Games


January 15, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Avril Lavigne Song to Support Special Olympics

By Christy White

Avril Lavigne, center, has announced that she has written a song called “Fly” for The Avril Lavigne Foundation to support Special Olympics.

Avril Lavigne has announced that she has written a song called “Fly” for The Avril Lavigne Foundation to support Special Olympics. The song will be released in advance of the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles this summer.View Story Avril Lavigne has announced that she has written a song called “Fly” for The Avril Lavigne Foundation to support Special Olympics. The song will be released in advance of the Special Olympics World Summer Games, which will take place July 25-August 2, 2015. In September 2014, as part of the Avril Lavigne Foundation’s support for Special Olympics, Lavigne launched a campaign for her 30th birthday, which raised funds to support 30 Special Olympics Athletes competing in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. The athletes supported by the campaign will come from five different countries and will be announced in February. During her 2014 World Tour, Lavigne visited a local Special Olympics program in Shanghai to learn more about their programs, and met with and invited more than 200 Special Olympics athletes to her shows in 14 countries.

About Christy White:I am the Director, Global Media and Public Relations, for Special Olympics.
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January 15, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Official Website for the 2017 World Winter Games is Live

By Will Schermerhorn

Programs wishing to begin promoting the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria have a new resource: the Austria 2017 website just went live. It's a good-looking site, full of news, photos and key information.View Story Programs wishing to begin promoting the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria have a new resource: the Austria 2017 website just went live. It's a good-looking site, full of news, photos and key information. The site is available in German and English. Below is the link to the English version. One of the key pieces of information is this: the Games run from 14 to 25 March 2017.

About Will Schermerhorn:I am the director of web products for Special Olympics.
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January 07, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Great Britain

Chasing Gold and Keeping It In the Family

By Suzanne Coogan

Daniel Wolff of Great Britain on the track.

Almost a century after winning 4 x 400m relay Gold at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, Frederick Wolff is still passing the baton.View Story Almost a century after winning 4 x 400m relay Gold at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, Frederick Wolff is still passing the baton. Freddie, as he was affectionately known, ran the opening leg of the race as he and his team-mates not only won gold, but set a new European record of 3:09. Now it's the turn of great grandson Daniel Wolff to fly the Olympic flag for Great Britain. Daniel, who has autism, was selected as one of 100 athletes who will travel to Los Angeles in July to compete at the Special Olympics World Summer Games."To represent Special Olympics Great Britain in LA actually means the world to me," says Daniel. "I will try to run like my great grandfather and bring home a medal for my country. That would be fantastic."Daniel says running helps him to relax. "Running is a nice way of getting rid of anything that I'm stressed about. I need to take my training to the next level now in the run up to the LA Games and train every day on the track with my coach and in the gym."

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager of Media and Public Awareness with Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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December 24, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Ireland

LA Galaxy Striker Robbie Keane coaching Team Ireland on their road to LA 2015

By Maureen Rabbitt

Robbie Keane with his wife Claudine and Team Ireland's soccer team.

The Special Olympics Ireland soccer team preparing for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles were treated to a surprise visit from Ireland and LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane and his wife Claudine during a training session.View Story The Special Olympics Ireland soccer team preparing for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles were treated to a surprise visit from Ireland and LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane and his wife Claudine during a training session. Keane called on the country to get behind Special Olympics athletes due to compete at the World Summer Games next summer.. The 34-year-old striker, who is his country’s most capped player of all time, signed on as an ambassador for Team Ireland ahead of next summer’s Games. Keane also encouraged the nation to help raise €440,000 to send the team to the World Games, with 88 Irish athletes due to travel to Los Angeles next year.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am Director for Communications & Branding at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
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December 24, 2014 | Latin America: Mexico

Gala Dinner Special Olympics

By Paola Martinelli

The red carpet.

A night full of surprises along with Special Olympics athletes. Special Olympics Latin America and Mexico celebrated the First Gala to benefit people with intellectual disabilities.View Story A night full of surprises along with Special Olympics athletes. Special Olympics Latin America and Mexico celebrated the First Gala to benefit people with intellectual disabilities. The Gala was to raise funds to expand and strengthen the services offered by Special Olympics in Mexico and send to Mexican athletes selected to the next 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles. More than 300 people enjoyed the Gala Dinner and were accompanied by 27 athletes who entered the room with applause from everyone. They sat next to the guests at the dining table telling their life stories.

About Paola Martinelli:National Director of Communications and Marketing
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Special Olympics Blog

Sport and Tech Team Up for Good

Now, thanks to Microsoft, athletes, coaches and families will have rapid access to useful information about their scores, times, personal bests, fitness and health. Special Olympics can use this capability to dramatically improve the lives of people in our Movement.  read more »

Posted on 2014-10-27 by Janet

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