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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


April 27, 2015 | North America: District of Columbia

District of Columbia Athlete Is Heading to LA for the World Games

By Maria-Nelly Johnson

Demetrius Cutchin of Washington, D.C.

In 2015 Demetrius will represent team USA at the 2015 World Games in track and field as a level three athlete. Demetrius started participating in Special Olympics as a middle school student. His first exposure to training and competition was in individual skills golf back in 2006. Throughout midView Story A Special Olympics athlete from Washington, D.C., will compete in track and field events at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. Demetrius Cutchin will be part of the Special Olympics USA team, one of about 170 teams from the around the world. Demetrius, 21, started participating in Special Olympics as a middle school student. His first exposure to training and competition was in individual skills golf back in 2006. Throughout middle school, he participated in track and field and speed skating. It was not until he reached high school that he fully realized that he could excel through participation in sports with Special Olympics. With the encouragement of his high school teachers and coaches, he further branched out to try team volleyball, Unified soccer and the military 4 x 100 meter Unified relay. Demetrius currently participates in at least one sport per training season with Special Olympics District of Columbia and has grown tremendously as an athlete and young man since beginning with Special Olympics.

About Maria-Nelly Johnson:Director of Finance and Administration for Special Olympics District of Columbia.
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April 21, 2015 | North America: Cayman Islands

Good luck!

By Encourage people!!

This isn't a story. I just wanted to say good luck to all of the Special Olympics participants. If you know someone who is competing, please wish them good luck!! Have fun to all the competitors!! You will come home with a smile and a medal.View Story This isn't a story. I just wanted to say good luck to all of the Special Olympics participants. If you know someone who is competing, please wish them good luck!! Have fun to all the competitors!! You will come home with a smile and a medal.

About Encourage people!!:Again, good luck!! Cheer people on!!
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April 20, 2015 | Asia Pacific: Philippines

Special Olympics Philippines Youth Leaders Profiled In Media

By Karyn Tan

Filipino Youth Leaders Brina Maxino (middle) and Sashi Montana (right)

Special Olympics Philippines' Youth Leaders Brina Maxino and Sashi Montana have been profiled by leading media in their country. Both are co-chairs of the Special Olympics Social Impact Summit, held during the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015.View Story Special Olympics Philippines' Youth Leaders Brina Maxino and Sashi Montana have been profiled by leading media in their country. Both are co-chairs of the Special Olympics Social Impact Summit, held during the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015. Brina's story was featured in Stargate People Asia, a lifestyle magazine that profiles leaders in business, politics, entertainment, sports and the arts. Sashi's wushu skills and Special Olympics volunteer work was featured in CNN Philippines. The Summit will gather 150 global youth leaders and 30 global change mentors to discuss and learn skills, to activate youth audiences in their communities. 

About Karyn Tan :Communications Manager for the Asia Pacific region
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April 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

I am Teresita Santander and am a Champion

By Paola Martinelli

Teresita at 2011 World Games in Greece

At the age of four years I went to school special education to be cared for adequately and a year later I was integrated into a regular preschool. It was not easy because children did not want to join me because of my disability and I always remained isolated so I had to return to the special school to continue my education until the age of 13.View Story My name is Jasmine Santander Teresita Sanchez. I was born in the city of Pachuca, Hidalgo on September 17, 1984. By a medical malpractice my parents were told that I have intellectual disability. At the age of four years I went to school special education to be cared for adequately and a year later I was integrated into a regular preschool It was not easy because children did not want to join me because of my disability and I always remained isolated so I had to return to the special school to continue my education until the age of 13. But fortunately, I received support from my teachers and finally finished my educación. From age 7 I have been an athlete in swimming and open water for Special Olympics. I have represented my country many times and now again I travel to the World Games as part of the Mexican delegation.

About Paola Martinelli:National Director of Communications and Marketing
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April 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

I am Ruben Alejandro and I am a Champion

By Paola Martinelli

Thanks to my studies I got a job in Public Services of the State of Nayarit in the area of computer education, I am currently an administrative assistant in the Multiple Care Center of Nayarit.View Story I'm Ruben and I was born with Down Syndrome have a younger sister and I live with my parents. I went to CREE rehabilitation center at 22 days old. There they treated me for my developmental disability to be equal to all children. I attended the child development center for three months, then preschool, primary and secondary mainstream schools with persons without disabilities. Thanks to my studies I got a job in Public Services of the State of Nayarit in the area of computer education, I am currently an administrative assistant in the Multiple Care Center of Nayarit. Since childhood I practice sport and I love gymnastics, I participated in 8 national events and 3 World Games and now I have another opportunity to go on behalf of Mexico to Los Angeles. I like the Folkloric dance workshops scarves weaving workshops, development of piñatas, wreaths, bows for gift and beads.

About Paola Martinelli:National Director of Communications and Marketing
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Special Olympics Blog

Jean Vanier, a prophet of humility and simplicity, wins!

Today, the Templeton Foundation gave its most prestigious award to my hero, Jean Vanier.  For Linda and our children and me, he has also been our retreat leader, our teacher of humility, our guide. 

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Posted on 2015-03-11 by Tim

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