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Manhattan Beach to Host Special Olympics World Games Athletes

Mar 13, 2015 07:08PM ● Published by DigMB Staff

The City of Manhattan Beach is among four South Bay cities that have been selected to participate in the Special Olympics World Games as "Host Towns" from July 21-24, hosting athletes, coaches and delegates from around the world before they begin to compete in the Games on July 25.

Mayors from MB, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach will be on hand at a special event to announce the countries each city will host on Monday, March 16 at 11 a.m. on the Manhattan Beach Pier. The president and chief executive officer of LA2015 will also be at the event.

Caley Versfelt, 2015 World Games Global Messenger, will attend the event that will include Special Olympics athletes raising a Special Olympics Host Town flag and Host cities presenting Proclamations to LA2015 Games officials. Caley graduated from UCLA’s Pathway’s Generation Next program where she lived in an apartment, took classes and completed three internships; earned the Gold Award in Girl Scouts and got to be a float rider in the Pasadena Rose Parade; and received the SunDown Voice award for achievements and volunteerism. 

More than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through the Host Town program, with cities rolling out the red carpet. As many as 100 communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego will be among those selected as an official Host Town.

"We are thrilled to see so many communities eager to participate in this integral component of the World Games," said Patrick McClenahan, president and CEO of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. "The Host Town program will not only create lasting memories for these athletes and coaches from around the world, but leave a lasting legacy for the communities who are opening their doors, hearts and minds to host these inspiring athletes."

Each Host Town will provide lodging, meals, practice locations and activities to delegations as they become acclimated to the time zone prior to the Games. The Host Town program was implemented in 1995. 

The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, which will be staged in Los Angeles July 25 through Aug. 2, will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.

The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region.

The Opening Ceremony,set for 
July 25 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. On April 30, 2014, LA2015 and ESPN announced a global programming deal through which ESPN will bring coverage of the World Games to millions of fans around the world. LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World 
Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org and on social, tune in to #TheWorldisComing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Manhattan Beach is among Host Towns that include Alhambra, Anaheim, Arcadia, Azusa, Beverly Hills, Big Bear Lake, Burbank, Calabasas, Camarillo, Carson, Chatsworth, Chino Valley, Claremont, Corona, Costa Mesa, Downey, Duarte, El Segundo, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Goleta, Glendale, Glendora, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Inglewood, Irvine, La Habra, La Mirada, La Verne, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Lincoln Heights, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Monterey Park, mountain communities of Lake Arrowhead, Newport Beach, Northridge, Ontario, Orange, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Pasadena, Poway, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Redondo Beach, Reseda, San Diego Downtown, San Diego East County, San Diego North County, San Diego South County, San Luis Obispo County, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Valley, Solvang, South Pasadena, Studio City, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, West Covina, West Los Angeles, Whittier, Winnetka and Woodland Hills. 

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