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White House to Host Special Olympics Celebration for A Unified Generation

July 28, 2014

The White House has announced that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host "A Celebration of Special Olympics and A Unified Generation" at the White House on the evening of Thursday 31 July.

Press Release

Washington D.C. – The event will celebrate the work that Special Olympics, with the support of the Obama administration and others, has been doing to activate young people to fight inactivity, intolerance and injustice in their schools and communities. Beginning this month, with planned ongoing engagement leading up to our milestone event at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, Special Olympics is challenging the nation and the world to embrace the unique civil rights movement for inclusion, unity and respect that is led by people with intellectual disabilities alongside their peers without intellectual disabilities. The evening will bring together Special Olympics athletes, volunteers and worldwide supporters of the Special Olympics movement.

Special Olympics has been a partner with the Obama administration for the last six years in working to promote at home and abroad a vision where people with and without intellectual disabilities are treated equally, regardless of their ability level. The Obama administration has worked closely with Special Olympics and its partners on ending injustice in the health care system, promoting inclusive and comprehensive fitness opportunities, and fighting bullying and intolerance by promoting youth-led social inclusion in nearly 3,000 schools across America.

“Our relationship with the Obama administration runs deep and across multiple dimensions of social and policy change. Thanks to the leadership of the administration, significant gains have been made in promoting social inclusion and recognition of the rights and gifts of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide,” said Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics. “A highlight of this journey will be the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles next July, where President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will serve as Honorary Chairs of our Games. We are tremendously thankful to have their support as we embark on developing the first unified generation to inspire youth with and without intellectual disabilities to join the Special Olympics movement.”

“This dinner comes at a critically important time for communities across America and around the world as Special Olympics looks to support young people as they create the first truly unified generation,” added Special Olympics CEO Janet Froetscher. “We are kicking-off our call to action urging youth everywhere to get active with someone who is different. By playing unified sports, together we can create a future of respect and inclusion, where the lines that divide us are erased.”

Special Olympics is grateful to the many supporters who have been champions behind our vision of a future of respect and acceptance, especially founding partner The Coca-Cola Company and also the Walt Disney Company and global presenting sponsor of unified sports, ESPN.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than 1.3 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 33 Olympic-type sports and more than 81,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics®, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Lions Clubs International, Mattel, P&G, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, Finish Line, The Safeway Foundation, and Safilo Group. Visit Special Olympics at Engage with us on: twitter@specialolympics,,, and

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