The City of Santa Clarita announced today that the community has been officially selected to participate in the Special Olympics World Games “Host Town” program from July 21 – 24, 2015. Before the Special Olympics World Games begin on July 25, 2015, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through the “Host Town” program. One hundred communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego will have the honor of serving as an official Host Town.
“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.”
As a Host Town, the City of Santa Clarita will welcome athletes into the community, providing them with a relaxing, fun filled and culturally immersive experience during their stay.
“Santa Clarita is one of the best places in Southern California to enjoy a variety of sports in an unmatched, family-friendly atmosphere. We’ve hosted some of the world’s best athletes and are thrilled to roll out the red carpet again for participants of the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015,” said Mayor Laurene Weste. “The City and our tourism partners are honored to support this remarkable event.”
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.
LA2015 is actively identifying potential Host Town candidates to be considered for the program. Communities are evaluated on the availability of lodging accommodations, sports practice facilities and recreation/entertainment offerings for the athletes, among other criteria. Host Towns are also responsible for planning activities for the athletes to introduce them to the community and help spread the word about the Games.
Santa Clarita joins the growing list of officially proclaimed Host Towns, which include Long Beach, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Studio City, West Covina, Arcadia, Burbank, Palmdale and La Mirada. More Host Town Selections will be announced in the coming weeks.
About the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games
With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – being staged in Los Angeles July 25 – August 2, 2015 – 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 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators.
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. Current Founding Champions and sponsors include AEG, Kaiser Permanente, Mattel, David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, the Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company, Deloitte and Davis Elen Advertising. LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit LA2015.org.
About Special Olympics International
Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports everyday around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. We promote acceptance for all, and foster communities of understanding and respect. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than four million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics events take place every day in community playgrounds and ball fields. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.
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