Special Olympics 2015

LA2015_Primary_Lockups_4_color-02_highresMore than 7,000 athletes representing 177 countries will soon arrive in Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is hoping fans and athletes alike will take the train to the competitions as well as to visit the county’s destinations like amusement parks and museums.

The July 25 opening ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is expected to have more than 60,000 spectators. More than 500,000 are expected to attend the weeklong games—making the Special Olympics World Games the largest athletic event to be held in Los Angeles County since the 1984 Olympic Games.

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Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, LA2015 president/CEO Patrick McClenahan, Special Olympics athlete Marco Martinez, co-founder of Special Olympics Southern California and Olympic champion Rafer Johnson, Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian.

“As we celebrate this great event, take advantage of the miles and miles of rail now available to take visitors and residents to so many destinations,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, incoming Metro Chairman. “I urge everyone to skip the traffic and the parking fees and to go Metro.”

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with disabilities. Through the challenges and rigor of athletic competition, those with developmental disabilities can develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families.

“The 2015 Special Olympics World Games will be a time to celebrate abilities. It will be a time of acceptance and inclusion,” said Patrick McClenahan, President and CEO, LA2015. “And it will be a time to share the gift of a new perspective with millions around the world.”

Athletes will compete in such sports as swimming, beach volleyball, bowling, tennis, half marathon and cycling in cities throughout Los Angeles County. For more information about the Games please visit http://www.la2015.org/. For train schedules please visit http://www.metro.net/riding/worldgames/