POSTED: September 14th 2011
NewsUpdate

Los Angeles to host 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games

There were over 20 legendary Olympic athletes and 20 Special Olympics athletes celebrating the announcement / Special Olympics International
There were over 20 legendary Olympic athletes and 20 Special Olympics athletes celebrating the announcement / Special Olympics International

Yuna Kim and Apolo Anton Ono were on hand today to support Special Olympics / Special Olympics International
Yuna Kim and Apolo Anton Ono were on hand today to support Special Olympics / Special Olympics International

NIKKI WICKS / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: The Special Olympics World Summer Games will return to the US for the first time in sixteen years after it was announced that Los Angeles would host the 2015 event.

The announcement was made today at a press conferences attended by the city’s Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Special Olympics chairman and CEO Timothy Shriver and about 20 legendary Olympic athletes and 20 Special Olympics athletes.

Special Olympics board member, Donna DeVarona, who is a sports broadcaster and double gold medal swimmer, co- hosted the event together with Dustin Plunkett, Special Olympics athlete, International Global Messenger and member of the Los Angeles bid committee.

In a rallying speech at the Staples Center in downtown LA, Shriver said he was “thrilled” to be bringing the Games to Los Angeles.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics is the largest sport and humanitarian event in the world, having grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.7 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world.

Alternating between Summer and Winter Games, Special Olympics World Games hosts the sporting talents of people with intellectual disabilities around the world.

Announcing LA as the host city for the next Summer edition, Shriver and Patrick McClenahan, chairman of the Los Angeles Bid Committee signed an agreement that will see McClenahan now become the president and CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee.

“Bringing our World Games to a city as powerful and prominent on the world stage as Los Angeles will allow our Special Olympics athletes to showcase their talents and demonstrate to the world the best in sports,” said Shriver.

McClenahan added: “In a city full of movie stars and all-stars, our Special Olympics athletes will be the stars of this show as they demonstrate their skills, courage and joy.  Los Angeles will provide the world stage necessary to create the awareness that leads to increased acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities throughout Southern California, the nation and the world”.

The next major event on the Special Olympic calendar will be the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will take place in PyeongChang. The Games will form a nice warm-up for the South Korean city, that was recently selected by the IOC to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games took place in Athens, Greece where around 7,000 athletes from 170 countries participated - similar numbers are expected in LA in 2015. 

Last month, Special Olympics was ranked number one by Philanthropedia, a newly released list of high-impact non-profit organizations serving people with disabilities.


Keywords · Special Olympics · Eunice Kennedy Shriver · Tim Shriver · Antonio Villaraigosa · Donna DeVarona


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