2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games

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14th Special Olympics World Summer Games
2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games logo.svg
Host city Los Angeles, United States
Motto Reach Up L.A.[1]
Nations participating 177
Athletes participating 6,500
Events in 25 sports
Opening ceremony July 25, 2015
Closing ceremony August 2, 2015
Officially opened by Michelle Obama
Athlete's Oath Jamaal Charles
Torch lighter Rafer Johnson and Destiny Sanchez
Main venue Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Website www.la2015.org
Summer
2011 2019  >
Winter
2013 2017  >

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games were a multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities held in Los Angeles, United States from July 25 to August 2, 2015, in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement.

Athletes entering the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for closing ceremonies on August 2, 2015.

These Games, hosting around 6,500 athletes from 177 countries,[1] marked the first time in sixteen years that the biennial Special Olympics World Summer Games have been hosted by the United States, and the second hosted by Los Angeles since 1972. The medal tally was led by the United States followed by China and India respectively.

Background[edit]

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games were awarded to Los Angeles on September 15, 2011, beating a bid by South Africa. The city's bid was backed by Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa, who had backed the city's failed bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics (awarded to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).[2][3]

Patrick McClenahan, chief of the organizing committee, had encountered representatives of Special Olympics International at the Southern California Law Enforcement Torch Run, a local event benefitting Special Olympics Southern California. The group suggested that Los Angeles bid for the 2015 World Summer Games. The bid quickly garnered support, with his committee having grown to 20 members, including athletes and Mayor Villaraigosa, only two weeks later. Amongst other receptions held during a visit by the selection committee to Los Angeles, a group of Special Olympics athletes participating in the World Summer Games in Athens were honored between quarters at a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game that the committee were attending, resulting in an ovation from fans in attendance.[2][3]

Villaraigosa felt "prouder" that the city would host the Special Olympics World Summer Games instead of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Of the bid, McClenahan stated that "In a city full of movie stars and sports stars, the athletes are going to be the stars of the show. "L.A. will create the world stage where the athletes can perform, show their skills and courage and determination and sportsmanship and as a result of that people come in contact with them and their perceptions change that leads to an awareness that leads to more inclusion and acceptance into the community."[2][3]

The Games[edit]

Venues[edit]

These Games were primarily held on the campuses of the University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles; USC hosted athletics (Katherine B. Loker Track & Field Stadium), aquatics (Uytengsu Aquatics Center), and basketball (Galen Center) events, while UCLA hosted 5-a-side football (Intramural Fields) 11-a-side football (Drake Stadium and the North Athletic Field), badminton, gymnastics, judo, softball, tennis (Los Angeles Tennis Center) and volleyball (Pauley Pavilion). Other venues in Los Angeles were used, such as the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Lucky Strike Lanes for bowling, the Balboa Sports Center in Encino for 7-a-side football, the Los Angeles Municipal Courses, Griffith Park for golf. The city of Long Beach hosted competition in kayaking, the marathon, volleyball, and demonstration sports.[4][5]

The use of USC and UCLA was based on their abilities to provide accommodations for the large number of athletes that participated in the Games, as well as their existing sports facilities. To minimize travel time and reduce the Games' impact on local traffic, a centralized athlete's village was not used. Athletes were instead assigned facilities at either UCLA or USC based on the sports they were to participate in.[4]

Downtown[edit]

Encino[edit]

  • Balboa Sports Center: Football (Soccer) 7-a-side[8]

Griffith Park[edit]

Long Beach[edit]

UCLA[edit]

USC[edit]

Sports[edit]

Demonstration events in beach soccer, beach volleyball, open water swimming, and triathlon were also held.

Participating nations[edit]

Delegations to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games[25]

Ceremonies[edit]

The opening ceremony of the Games were held on July 25, 2015 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The ceremony featured performances by J Balvin, Becky G, Siedah Garrett, Stevie Wonder, and Avril Lavinge. Nicole Scherzinger sung the American national anthem.[26] A pre-recorded message by President Barack Obama was played, while First Lady Michelle Obama gave a speech in-person. The Flame of Hope was used by Special Olympian Destiny Sanchez, joined by Rafer Johnson, to light the stadium's Olympic cauldron (as Johnson had done in 1984).[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Plaschke, Bill. "Special Olympics opening ceremony is out of this world". The Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c ""In a city full of stars" Special Olympians will stand out in Los Angeles in 2015". GamesBids.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  3. ^ a b c "Los Angeles to host 2015 Special Olympics Summer Games". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "All Venues". LA2015.org. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "L.A. nimble, ready to host Special Olympics World Games". ESPN.com. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Convention Center - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Lucky Strike LA Live - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Balboa Sports Center - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Los Angeles Equestrian Center - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Wilson & Harding Golf Courses - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Alamitos Beach - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Belmont Pier - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Marine Stadium - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Drake Stadium - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Easton Stadium - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Intramural Field - Detail". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  17. ^ "John Wooden Center- Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Los Angeles Tennis Center - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  19. ^ "North Athletic Field - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Pauley Pavilion - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Student Activities Center - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Galen Center - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Galen Center - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Uytengsu Aquatics Center - Details". www.la2015.org. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Delegations". 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  26. ^ Sam's Secret Collection (2015-07-26), Nicole Scherzinger Special Olympics National Anthem in LA | LIVE 7-25-15, retrieved 2018-05-17