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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/ and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram


Stories about the 2015 Games


February 25, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Starkey Teams Up with Special Olympics to Provide $500,000 in Funds and Hearing Aids

By Lynn Erickson

Starkey Hearing Foundation and Special Olympics Healthy Hearing, which is a Special Olympics Healthy Athletes discipline that provides free hearing examinations to athletes worldwide, will partner for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.View Story Starkey Hearing Foundation and Special Olympics Healthy Hearing, which is a Special Olympics Healthy Athletes discipline that provides free hearing examinations to athletes worldwide, will partner for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. Starkey will provide contributions totaling $200,000 in support of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes and Healthy Hearing. Additionally, Starkey will aid Special Olympics athletes by providing $300,000 worth of hearing aids for free. Special Olympics Healthy Hearing not only provides free hearing exams to athletes in more than 80 countries, but, through sponsorships with organizations like Starkey, follow-up care also is emphasized and more than 2,000 hearing aids have been distributed free of charge to Special Olympics athletes around the world.

About Lynn Erickson:Manager, Health Communications
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February 25, 2015 | Asia Pacific: Australia

Nothing Will Dampen the Spirit of Team Australia

By Sharon Nixon

Team Australia in training camp for the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2015.

Even a tropical cyclone couldn’t dampen the spirits of Team Australia when they gathered for a team training camp to prepare for LA2015. Despite lashing rain, severe wind and flash flooding almost all 76 athletes and 29 officials made it to camp to train across 12 sports.View Story Even a tropical cyclone couldn’t dampen the spirits of Team Australia when they gathered for a team training camp to prepare for LA2015. Despite lashing rain, severe wind and flash flooding almost all 76 athletes and 29 officials made it to camp to train across 12 sports. With outdoor venues closed, creative indoor training solutions were needed. So the tennis players set up a net in the carpark, our golfers headed off to the local putt-putt golf centre and the sailors held activities in the pool alongside our swim squad, which included first-time Australian representative Alannah McKeown from Victoria. Prior to camp Alannah had been struggling with her tumble-turn so she was really hoping to improve her skills at camp. Much to the delight of her team-mates and coach she did. Alannah says, ‘I love the things that I can learn to do with Special Olympics Australia and it makes me feel very proud and emotional to be swimming for Australia.’ Watch out world Team Australia are on the way!

About Sharon Nixon:I am the National Manager of Communications and Brand with Special Olympics Australia.
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February 20, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Ireland

LA Galaxy and Special Olympics Ireland footballers reach up!

By Fiona Hynes

LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane turned a training session into a field of dreams for Special Olympics Ireland footballers yesterday.View Story LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane turned a training session into a field of dreams for Special Olympics Ireland footballers yesterday. The Irish football captain, who is in Dublin to face Shamrock Rovers this weekend, invited the athletes to a skills session where they got to meet several of the LA Galaxy players. This is the second time Keane has trained with the athletes. The football legend and his wife Claudine are supporting the 88 Irish athletes heading to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. He is urging the country to get behind them and help raise the €440,000 target to fund the trip. Full details of Special Olympics Ireland Support An Athlete campaign can be found at the link below.

About Fiona Hynes:I am responsible for Communications at Special Olympics Ireland.
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February 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Middle East North Africa Is Sending Big Delegations to the World Games in Los Angeles

By Noha Gaballa

Fifteen countries from the Middle East and North Africa are sending delegations to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. A total of 443 athletes will travel to LA for the Games, which start July 24.View Story Fifteen countries from the Middle East and North Africa are sending delegations to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. A total of 443 athletes will travel to LA for the Games, which start July 24. The delegations are broken out this way: Algeria is sending 28 athletes; Egypt is sending 64 athletes; United Arab Emirates, 74; Bahrain, 11; Iran, 32; Iraq, 12; Jordan ,20; Lebanon, 22; Libya, 35; Morocco, 36; Palestine, 35; Saudi Arabia, 25; Qater, 21; Syria 18; and Tunisia, 10. Los Angeles Council Member Tom La Bange welcomed Ayman Abdel Wahab, Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa President and Managing Director, and expressed his appreciation for the great role and the nonstop efforts he is playing in the region during such a volatile period the region is passing through. La Bange also awarded Abdel-Wahab the Golden City Certificate and invited him to sit next to him on stage during a conference held ahead of the Games to allow heads of delegations to showcase their cities. “I was surprised by such warmth and a welcome that I did not expect at all,” Abdel-Wahab said.“I am sure that LA Games will be a marvelous one where all Special Olympics athletes will be comfortable."

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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January 29, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

Applications Now Open to Join Unified Generation

By Agneiszka Krukowska

Join us as we create a Generation Unified.

Special Olympics is calling on all young people to participate in the Generation Unified Social Impact Summit taking place in Los Angeles from July 23 - 27.View Story Special Olympics is calling on all young people to participate in the Generation Unified Social Impact Summit taking place in Los Angeles from July 23 - 27. The seminar will provide training and mentoring to a Unified Generation to empower them to chase a vision that this world can eliminate stigma and barriers against people with intellectual disabilities.The Summit will gather 180 people with and without intellectual disabilities, 130 global youth leaders and 30 global change mentors. The Summit will take place during the largest humanitarian event in 2015 - The Special Olympics World Summer Games 2015 in Los Angeles.

About Agneiszka Krukowska:I am responsible for Youth Activation and Unified Sports in Europe Eurasia.
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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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