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Los Angeles 2015

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles will feature summer sports such as athletics and swimming among teams from all corners of the earth. Mohamed Gaballa, a Special Olympics swimmer from Egypt, aspires to compete in Los Angeles next year.

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games open on 25 July 2015 in  Los Angeles, California. The 2015  Games will feature competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football (soccer) and many other summer sports involving 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world.

Quick Facts

  • The 2015 Games will be the 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games. 
  • The Games are scheduled for 25 July to 2 August 2015 
  • LA 2015 will mark the first World Summer Games held in the U.S. in 16 years. 
  • The LA2015 website is at www.LA2015.org
  • Volunteers are needed. Here's how.

California, Here We Come

Los Angeles is set to welcome more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 nations to compete in 25 Olympic-type sports.  It's a world stage for our athletes to demonstrate on the playing field their courage, determination and spirit of sportsmanship.

The most recent World Summer Games were in Athens, Greece in 2011. The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games could bring as many as a half-million people to the greater Los Angeles area from 25 July to 2 August 2015. The Special Olympics World Summer Games will return to the United States after 16 years, having last been held in the United States in 1999 in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

“These Games will change the lives of people around the world who are mistreated and excluded because they’re ‘different,’”  said Patrick McClenahan, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee.


LA 2015 Sports

  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Judo
  • Kayaking
  • Open Water Swim
  • Powerlifting
  • Rollerskating
  • Sailing
  • Table Tennis
  • Team Handball
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

Changing Attitudes

The Games also are a chance for spectators and volunteers to have their preconceptions about people with intellectual disabilities changed forever. Getting involved with the Games by cheering from the stands or handing out cups of water to thirsty athletes is a sure way to change your view of people of all kinds.

Special Olympics World Games -- and all of the 80,000 Special Olympics competitions that occur every year--invite the public to see the talents and capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities. It's a way to open eyes, to change attitudes and to break down barriers that excluded people with ID from the mainstream of community.

The Los Angeles Games will also provide a venue for global discussions and action on the impact Special Olympics can have on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. More than 200 million people worldwide have an intellectual disability, making it the largest disability group worldwide. Intellectual disability crosses racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic lines, and can occur in any family.

Volunteers and supporters are also essential to make the World Games a success. To apply to be one of the 30,000 volunteers for the World Games please visit: www.LA2015.org/volunteer. To help raise funds to cover costs associated with the visiting athletes, please visit support.la2015.org. For more information about the World Games, please visit www.LA2015.org/one-year-away and on social with #TheWorldisComing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 


Stories about the 2015 Games


November 26, 2014 | Africa: Namibia

World Games fever spreads across Namibia

By Ms Juanita Gouws

It was in an atmosphere of excitement and pride that family members, friends and the community came out in full support to witness Special Olympics Namibia athletes qualify for the 2015 World Games.View Story It was in an atmosphere of excitement and pride that family members, friends and the community came out in full support to witness Special Olympics Namibia (SON) athletes qualify for the 2015 World Games. Powerful words of encouragement from guest speaker, Director of Education in the Khoma region, Mrs. Veronica Steenkamp, echoed the vision our late founder, Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Mrs Steenkamp said, “All Special Olympics Athletes’, do not stand back in life for anyone that wants to get in the way of your dreams.” Mrs. Steenkamp officially opened the SON National Games that took place at the Jan Mohr Secondary School Sports Field in Windhoek. Excited athletes who had advanced from 4 different regions competed in athletics and 7 a-side football to represent the nation at Special Olympics 2015 World Summer Games. This event was made possible with the enthusiastic help of 40 coaches and volunteers who were on hand to assist with divisioning and making sure the event ran smoothly. The games incorporated a 2 day Youth Summit with 65 participants and a Special Smiles. It was wonderful to see youth involved in creating an inclusive society. A highlight of the event was the parade of athletes led by the Namibian Police Brass Band. This created great national pride and showed the athletes that the nation is behind them. Alternating between summer and winter, the Special Olympics World Games are one of the world's largest sporting events, drawing as many, if not more, athletes than the Olympics. Every two years since 1968, athletes from more than 100 nations have gathered to celebrate sport and showcase the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. This prominent world stage brings attention to the Special Olympics movement and helps create positive, sometimes lifesaving policy change for people with intellectual disabilities in countries around the world.

About Ms Juanita Gouws :I am the acting National Director for Special Olympics Namibia
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November 26, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Special Olympics Kenya National Games unite a community.

By Mr John Makhathimo

At the Special Olympics Kenya National Games, 157 athletes and partners could not contain their excitement as they marched onto the field to acknowledge their supporters. They competed in athletics, unified basketball, unified beach volley ball, handball, and 5-aside football to secure their place in the National Team.View Story The Special Olympics Kenya National Games took place during August at the University of Nairobi sports grounds. 157 athletes and partners could not contain their excitement as they marched onto the field to acknowledge their supporters. They competed in athletics, unified basketball, unified beach volley ball, handball, and 5-aside football to secure their place in the National Team. This great event would not have been possible without the support of individuals, organisations and the community as a whole. Special Olympics Kenya staff and volunteers that worked tirelessly to make sure the event ran smoothly, and members of the community came in numbers to support and cheer on the athletes. Special Olympics Africa Program Development Manager, Mr. Joe Mutua, was among the guests of honour at the event. The event was generously supported by the UON family support network, the coaches’ fraternity, and Friends of Special Olympics Kenya (FOSK). Lunch was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Kariuki Kagondu and Mr. & Mrs. Parker, and water and refreshments were taken care by Ms. Jacky Mwangi. Mrs. Lenah Agare was the events medical personnel and first aider, and the UON allowed the program to use its sports facilities and other amenities. The event received tremendous electronic media coverage helping create much needed exposure and awareness for the program. Special Olympics creates communities of support everywhere it goes. We hold 50,000 competitions a year -- about 136 each day. Our Games and competitions bring together athletes, coaches, volunteers, supporters and leaders of the community. Special Olympics knows no boundaries. Without regard to gender, race, religion, economic or education level, Special Olympics has the ability to unite all walks of life. This spirit of generosity, inclusion and volunteerism helps to connect the community as a whole. In this way, we will build a stronger, safer world.

About Mr John Makhathimo:Special Olympics Kenya National Director
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November 13, 2014 | North America: Bonaire

Open Water For Special Olympics

By George DeSalvo

Thumbnail of story in newspaper. More photos available as well as wholestory.

Bonaire’s first participation was in the 1998 games in North Carolina. Since then our team has traveled the world every four years to Ireland, China and other places. Next year they go to Los Angeles, US.View Story Special Olympics is a global organization that serves more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing. Bonaire’s first participation was in the 1998 games in North Carolina. Since then our team has traveled the world every four years to Ireland, China and other places. Next year they go to Los Angeles, US. Bonaire has strong, experienced athletes and dedicated volunteers who provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.

About George DeSalvo:I am the Publisher of The Bonaire Reporter, our island's English language newspaper. We have a story you can use, go to www.bonairenews.com and get current story on pg 8. We have been supporter for almost 20 years.
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October 21, 2014 | Latin America: El Salvador

Special Olympics El Salvador Uses Digital App to Select Athletes to Compete in the 2015 World Games

By Guisele Calderón

Twenty three athletes will represent El Salvador at the Special Olympics World Games 2015 in Los Angeles.View Story Twenty three athletes will represent El Salvador at the Special Olympics World Games 2015 in Los Angeles. Athletes from Special Olympics El Salvador will compete in track, rhythmic and artistic gymnastics, swimming, bocce, open water swimming and powerlifting. Special Olympics El Salvador athletes were given an equal chance of participating, with some help from an app developed by Influencia Digital, a digital partner of Special Olympics El Salvador, which randomly selected from a pool of male and female athletes with all levels of abilities. Alternate athletes were also selected using the app.

About Guisele Calderón:Marketing, Public Relations and Communication Coordinator
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: Senegal

A strengthened Special Olympics Senegal is ready for World Games

By Ms Rajah Diouri SY

Special Olympics Africa staff members helped Special Olympics Senegal with training for new board members who were recruited to help the program achieve their goals. Fourteen board members, including eight new members, received the orientation training.View Story Special Olympics Africa staff members Ms. Lauren Quin and Mr. Charles Takouet were on hand to assist Special Olympics Senegal with training for new board members who were recruited to help the program achieve their goals. Fourteen board members, including eight new members, received the orientation training. Also on hand to oversee the Special Olympics Senegal National Games were an athletics and table tennis team were chosen to represent Senegal at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The National Games saw great entertainment provided by traditional dancers and were attended by representatives from the Ministry of Sports, Senior Officials of the Army, the West African Countries Sports Organisation, and Speak up Africa.

About Ms Rajah Diouri SY :Special Olympics Senegal National Director
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Special Olympics Blog

Sport and Tech Team Up for Good

Now, thanks to Microsoft, athletes, coaches and families will have rapid access to useful information about their scores, times, personal bests, fitness and health. Special Olympics can use this capability to dramatically improve the lives of people in our Movement.  read more »

Posted on 2014-10-27 by Janet

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