The “City of Champions” will welcome a very special group of Olympians next summer when the 2015 Special Olympics World Games come to Los Angeles. Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts will announce that Inglewood has been named a “Host Town” during a press conference at the Fabulous Forum on Thursday, October 16.
As a Host Town, Inglewood will play a supportive role for approximately 100 Special Olympic participants from Tuesday, July 21 through Friday, July 24, 2015. The City will provide meals, accommodations and a variety of engaging events and fun-filled activities.
“The City of Inglewood is proud to be a Host Town in preparation for the 2015 Special Olympics. The competition of over 7,000 athletes will be witnessed by over one-half million people,” the mayor said.
The 2015 Special Olympics World Games will take place in Los Angeles July 25 - August 2, 2015, and will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony will be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games.
“The Host Town program is an exciting way for Southern California locals to open our doors and show the athletes and coaches from around the world our hospitality and our culture,” said Patrick McClenahan, president and chief executive officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. “This is an important part of the World Games experience and a truly meaningful way for different communities to be part of the Games and create lasting memories for our visiting athletes.”
Mayor Butts will be joined by Lakers Coach (and Morningside High School alumnus) Byron Scott; Michelle Core, Global Messenger 2015 World Games; Dana DuFine, SVP West Coast, Madison Square Garden Co.; Artie Fields, Inglewood City Manager; Mark Fronterotta, Inglewood Chief of Police; Eric Holly, Executive Director of Inglewood Chamber of Commerce; Joann Klonowski, LA2015 representative; Norm Nixon, former Laker and 2-Time NBA Champion; Nick Spampanato, General Manager of the Forum; and Reggie Theus, former NBA Player and coach. Inglewood Parks and Recreation Director Sabrina Barnes will sing the U.S. national anthem.
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. The global event is expected to draw 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches, representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators.
The Host Town program has been an important element of Special Olympics World Games since 1995, and the experience has left a lasting impression on the local communities in Ireland, Japan, China, Greece, South Korea and the United States, all of which have previously organized Host Town programs as part of the Special Olympics World Games.
On April 30, 2014, LA2015 and ESPN announced a global programming deal that will see ESPN bring coverage of World Games to millions of fans around the world. Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as honorary hosts.
For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org