Los Angeles to host 2015 Special Olympics

Los Angeles to host 2015 Special Olympics

The board expects that in less than four years, Los Angeles would welcome more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 countries and regions to compete in 21 Olympic-type sports, and gather more than a half-million spectators.

"Bringing our World Games to a city as powerful and prominent on the world stage as Los Angeles will allow our Special Olympics athletes to showcase their talents and demonstrate to the world the best in sports,"  Timothy P. Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, said in a statement as he awarded the event to Los Angeles at the Staples Center.

Shriver said Los Angeles won the bid for its fantastic facilities and its deep understanding of the mission of Special Olympics.

"So, we couldn't say no. They had it all. They have everything we wanted to do the future of our movement, which is centered on the idea that we can teach true sport, the power of unity, we think this is the best place in the world to teach that lesson," Shriver was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Patrick McClenahan, president and chief executive officer of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Organising Committee, told Xinhua that Los Angeles is able to create a world stage for these athletes to perform on, to show their skills, courage and spirit of joy.

"When that happens, people see that, and their perceptions are changed. And it becomes of appreciation, for what they can do, that start to change the way about people with disabilities start to including them and accepting them more," he said.

China's Shanghai hosted the Special Olympics in 2007. The most recent one was held in Athens, Greece, in July this year. South Korea will host the 2013 Special Olympics.