The world’s largest sports and humanitarian event is coming to the world’s capital for media and entertainment. The Special Olympics International Board of Directors announced that Los Angeles will be the host site for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. In less than four years, Los Angeles will welcome more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 nations to compete in 21 Olympic-type sports. The games are expected to bring more than a half-million people to the greater Los Angeles area and will be held in summer 2015.
At a press event at the Staples Center in downtown LA on Wednesday, September 14th, a memorandum of agreement was signed by Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics and Patrick McClenahan, President &CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee.
Extraordinary Events has been a long time supporter of Southern California Special Olympics, producing their annual fundraiser for the last 3 years. Chris Clark assisted McClenahan with the stage design, production, and logistics.
“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,” said McClenahan.
The star-studded event included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Loretta Claiborne, Special Olympics Athlete Spokesperson and member of Special Olympics International Board of Directors Games Committee; Tim Leiweke, President and CEO of AEG; C.L.Max Nikias, President of the University of Southern California; Don Knabe, Los Angeles County Supervisor; and Rafer Johnson, Los Angeles’ own Olympic legend - 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist in the Decathlon - and Founder of Special Olympics Southern California. Escorting Special Olympic Athletes into the event were famous Olympians Apollo Ono, Michelle Kwan, Dwight Stones, John Nabor, Kim Rhode, Amanda Freed, Bob Seagren, Patty McCormick, Betsy Mitchell, Tom Hoff, Mitch Kupcheck, Sammy Lee, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Louis Zamperini, Yuna Kim