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L.A. To Host 2015 Special Olympics

Jenny Chen |
September 14, 2011 | 3:26 p.m. PDT

Associate News Editor

(Courtesy of Creative Commons).
(Courtesy of Creative Commons).
Los Angeles will have a chance to play host to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2015, the Special Olympics International Board of Directors announced Wednesday. 

“Bringing our World Games to a city as powerful and prominent on the world stage as Los Angeles will allow our Special Olympics athletes to showcase their talents and demonstrate to the world the best in sports,” Shriver said

More than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries are expected to participate.

At both the Winter and Summer Special Olympics, athletes have opportunities to compete in 21 different events. Games are played biennually, just like the Olympic Games. 

The Special Olympics was founded more than 40 years ago in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver - President John F. Kennedy's sister - as a competition for the mentally disabled.

Now, more than 3.7 million athletes participate worldwide in various Special Olympics activities and programs. 

It’s been 16 years since the Special Olympics World Summer Games have taken place in the U.S.; it was last held in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1999. 

The last summer game was held in Athens in 2011, and the next competition will be in Korea during the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games. 

 “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 Patrick McClenahan, chair of the Los Angeles bid committee.

Chairman and CEO Timothy Shriver made the announcement at a news conference at the Staples Center. Former California first lady and Timothy’s sister, Maria Shriver, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa were among those in attendance.

Reach reporter Jenny Chen here.

Follow reporter Jenny Chen on Twitter.


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