Special Olympics Team USA is proud to announce that it will send a 491 member delegation to represent the United States at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, being held July 25-August 2, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.
The "home team" will include 304 athletes and 43 Unified Partners competing in 17 sports, 102 volunteer coaches, and 42 volunteer sports and management team members, representing all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The team also includes several Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams, where people with and without intellectual disability compete together, as teammates.
Every two years, the world transcends the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion to come together for Special Olympics World Games. Alternating between summer and winter Games, this event is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement, which promotes equality, tolerance and acceptance through the power and joy of sport. This prominent world stage brings attention to the Special Olympics movement and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. Currently, more than 4.4 million Special Olympics athletes train and compete year-round in 170 nations across the globe.
For Olivia Quigley of Brookfield, Wisconsin, who will be competing in track, the World Games represent more than a lifelong dream fulfilled; it's a chance for her to help her fellow athletes succeed: "World Games is a huge honor and I accept the responsibility it brings. I want to use this opportunity to mentor other athletes to do their best and never give up."
Eighteen year old Cameron Hilgenberg of Land O' Lakes, Florida is competing as a Unified partner on Special Olympics Team USA's Unified Sports soccer team heading to the World Games, and says, "Special Olympics has taught me to accept everyone for who they are. It has taught me patience and leadership. It means the world to me to be a member of Special Olympics Team USA. The smiles on the athletes' faces light up my world."
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these athletes to demonstrate their athletic abilities, competing at the highest level on the world stage, and to have life and cultural experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives," said Chris Hahn, Head of Delegation for Special Olympics Team USA. Hahn added, "I encourage every American to cheer on these inspiring athletes, to share in their triumphs and to take pride in knowing that they will represent our country with excellence and honor."
Visit www.specialolympicsteamusa.org to meet the team and learn more.
More than 7,000 athletes from 177 nations will compete in 25 Olympic-type sports at the 2015 World Games, which marks the 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games:
Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Judo, Kayaking, Half Marathon, Open Water Swim, Power Lifting, Roller Skating, Sailing, Softball, Soccer, Table Tennis, Team Handball, Tennis, Triathlon and Volleyball.
With an anticipated 30,000 volunteers and 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. ESPN is the official broadcast partner of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, allowing an unprecedented amount of viewers around the world to be introduced to the power of Special Olympics. To learn more, visit www.LA2015.org
Official sponsors for Special Olympics Team USA include Finish Line, Champion, The Coca-Cola Company, Tommie Copper, Midwest Trophy Manufacturing, KPMG - Golf team sponsor, Mattel - Cycling team sponsor and Speedo USA - Swimming team official supplier.
To learn more about Special Olympics Team USA and to follow the team to the World Games, visit www.specialolympicsteamusa.org, follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SOTeamUSA, Twitter @SOTeamUSA, Instagram: SOTeamUSA
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