WASHINGTON D.C. – July 15, 2019: Special Olympics announced today that award-winning musician and philanthropist, Avril Lavigne, will become a Global Ambassador to spread the global movement of inclusion.
“Avril’s involvement with Special Olympics dates back many years,” said Mary Davis, Special Olympics CEO. “Over the years, Avril has become a close friend of the organization, performing at our 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, generously donating her hit single “Fly” to the Special Olympics movement, and most recently performing at the Opening Ceremonies and cheering on our athletes at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. Special Olympics is thrilled to have Avril formally represent and promote the inclusion movement around the world.”
As a Global Ambassador, Lavigne will promote inclusion through support of Special Olympics’ programming in inclusive health and our Unified Schools work. Avril and The Avril Lavigne Foundation also intend to collaborate with Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes® program to design inclusive health programming that ensures Special Olympics athletes have access to quality health services for Lyme Disease treatment and prevention, a disease Avril has lived with since 2014.
“I am honored to accept the invitation to become a Special Olympics Global Ambassador, and continue to champion inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, with a specific focus on Lyme disease as a part of inclusive health. Everyone should have the same access to quality health care, and should have the opportunity to be included at every stage of life, no matter what their needs are.” said Avril Lavigne. “I’m constantly inspired by each and every Special Olympics athlete I meet. They are paving the way to creating a more inclusive world for everyone.”
In July 2018, Special Olympics launched the “The Revolution Is Inclusion” campaign, a five-year campaign to commemorate the organization’s 50th anniversary, inspire action, and shine a spotlight on the outcomes seen when people with and without intellectual disabilities are able to work, play, and lead life together. As the yearlong anniversary celebrations come to a close, Special Olympics is making another final push around their campaign during the month of July, encouraging the world to take and share an Inclusion Pledge to demand a more inclusive world. Inclusion is all about being together. #ChooseToInclude and take the #InclusionRevolution pledge today: https://www.jointherevolution.org/
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, IKEA Foundation, the Lane Family, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.
About Avril Lavigne
Global superstar & philanthropist Avril Lavigne has made an indelible mark on the music community, selling more than 40 million albums worldwide and more than 50 million singles with five albums bowing in the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200 and two at #1. Among countless accolades, she has garnered eight GRAMMY Award nominations and taken home eight Juno Awards. The lead single from her most recent album of the same name, “Head Above Water,” reached #1 on iTunes immediately upon release, and chronicles her own personal journey with Lyme Disease. In addition to founding The Avril Lavigne Foundation in 2010, Avril also sits on the Board of Directors for two of the organization’s beneficiary partners—Global Lyme Alliance and Race to Erase MS.
About The Avril Lavigne Foundation
The Avril Lavigne Foundation supports individuals with Lyme Disease, serious illness or disabilities. Through programs and grants, it provides Lyme prevention resources, funds treatment and accelerates research in order to provide hope and transform lives. Additionally, it provides funding, education and encouragement for its charitable beneficiaries, which in addition to Special Olympics include: Center for Courageous Kids, Easter Seals, Global Lyme Alliance, LymeLight Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Race to Erase MS, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, Toronto Sick Kids, UNICEF and more.