GOLETA, CA – The City of Goleta 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. As many as 100 communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego will have the honor of being selected as an official Host Town.
“We are thrilled to see so many communities eager to participate in this integral component of the World Games,” said Patrick McClenahan, president and chief executive officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. “The Host Town program will not only create lasting memories for these athletes and coaches from around the world, but leave a lasting legacy for the communities who are opening their doors, hearts and minds to host these inspiring athletes.”
As a Host Town, the City of Goleta will play host to three delegations (which include Special Olympics athletes and coaches) from Bhutan, Panama and Qatar. The Delegations will spend July 21-24, 2015 in and around Goleta as they become acclimated to the time zone, enjoy activities that Goleta has to offer and prepare to compete at the World Games.
“We are excited to be able to participate in the World Games Host Town program and meet these inspiring athletes,” said Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte. “It’s a great opportunity to treat athletes from around the world to our slice of heaven.”
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.
Goleta joins the growing list of Host Towns which include Alhambra, Anaheim, Arcadia, Azusa, Beverly Hills, Big Bear Lake, Burbank, Calabasas, Camarillo, Carson, Chatsworth, Chino Valley, Claremont, Corona, Costa Mesa, Downey, Duarte, El Segundo, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Glendale, Glendora, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Inglewood, Irvine, La Habra, La Mirada, La Verne, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Lincoln Heights, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Mission Viejo, Monterey Park, Mountain Communities of Lake Arrowhead, Newport Beach, Northridge, Ontario, Orange, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Pasadena, Poway, Reseda, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, San Diego Downtown, San Diego East County, San Diego North County, San Diego South County, San Luis Obispo County, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Valley, Solvang, South Pasadena, Studio City, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, West Covina, West Los Angeles, Whittier, Winnetka and Woodland Hills. More Host Town selections will be announced in the coming weeks.
Communities interested in serving as Host Towns can learn more by visiting the World Games website at www.LA2015.org/host-town.
About Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015)
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. 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. 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 www.LA2015.org and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than 1.3 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 81,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq; instagram.com/specialolympics and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.
Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015)