Los Angeles is a city full of movie stars and all-stars. But in 2015, Special Olympics athletes will be the real stars as 7,000 athletes with an intellectual disability from 177 countries compete across 25 sports at the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
The Games which will be held in Los Angeles, USA from 25 July – 2 August 2015, will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015.
Team Australia will consist of 76 athletes who will compete across eight sports. Over 70% of athletes on the team will represent Australia at a World Games for the first time and they will be supported by
29 volunteer officials.
33-year-old Josie McLean from Sydney’s Northern Beaches is excited to have been selected to represent Australia in tenpin bowling. Josie says, ‘When I opened the letter telling me I was selected I yelled and shouted with excitement. In my large family, I’ll be the first and only person to represent Australia and that’s truly wonderful.’
Jake De La Motte, who is 20 years-old and from Dandenong Valley, Victoria is another newcomer to the team. Jake will play basketball at the World Games and he says, ‘Basketball is my favourite sport in the world and I have been training hard day and night because I’ve wanted to play for my country since I was six years old. I can’t want to go to LA and hopefully bring home a gold medal.’
Every two years, the world transcends the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion, to come together for the largest sporting and humanitarian event on the planet, the Special Olympics World Games.
Alternating between summer and winter Games, this is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement and one of the most powerful vehicles for communicating to the world the abilities and gifts of people with an intellectual disability.