President Obama and First Lady to Serve as Honorary Chairs of 2015 Special Olympics World Games

July 31, 2013

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are to serve as Honorary Chairs of the Special Olympics World Games which are to be hosted in the city in 2015.

Mayor Garcetti said: “Along with my support and that of the City of Los Angeles, cough I am proud and honoured to acknowledge the commitment of the President and First Lady to this great event. I am also excited that this unique event will be a major contributor to our city’s economy, generating more than $400 million in economic impact.”

In a video statement, President Obama said: “Michelle and I are so honoured to serve as Co-chairs of this inspiring event. Special Olympics has a tradition that started more than 50 years ago…at Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s house. Today, that simple day camp has grown into one of the biggest sporting competitions in the world for people with intellectual disabilities. The athletes coming to these Games represent the grit and determination that’s at the very root of the American spirit.”

Mayor Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown are to serve as Honorary Hosts.

Governor Brown also sent a statement of support of the Games, saying: “It’s fitting that athletes from around the world will be going for the gold here in the Golden State and we’re proud to host the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.”

Patrick McClenahan, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, said in a statement: “Having such prominent supporters as the President and First Lady, Governor Brown and Mayor Garcetti, is a testament to the powerful mission and message of Special Olympics and how the World Games in 2015 will celebrate that mission.”

The of 2015 Special Olympics World Games are to be held from 25 July to 2 August, 2015, at venues across the Los Angeles region. 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 countries are set to compete in 25 Olympic-style events during the week-long event.