West Covina – On Tues., Mar. 10, the City of West Covina announced today they will host the entire Special Olympics Delegation (which includes athletes and coaches) from Nippon (Japan) as part of the Special Olympics World Games Host Town program. Before the World Games begin on July 25, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to communities throughout Southern California. Special Olympics Nippon (Japan) will spend July 21-24 in and around West Covina as they become acclimated to the time zone and weather, participate in activities prepared by West Covina volunteers, and enjoy American cuisine.
The Host Town program in West Covina is collaboration between the City of West Covina and numerous business and non-profit groups. Special thanks to Fairfield Inn & Suites West Covina for donating the hotel rooms for our visitors; Knights of Columbus #3851 (Father McGuire Council) and Plaza West Covina, owned and operated by Starwood, for their generous financial contributions; and West Covina Service Groups for helping donate meals and serve as the volunteers for Team Japan’s visit. Together they will welcome the Special Olympics athletes and coaches and provide them food, housing and entertainment.
“The Host Town program gives each community an opportunity to showcase to the world what makes them special, but more importantly to provide citizens with a better understanding of intellectual disabilities that will lead to acceptance and inclusion for all,” said Patrick McClenahan, President and CEO of LA2015. “Long after the World Games are over, the memories of those three days spent at Host Town will leave a lasting legacy for Special Olympics Southern California and everyone who was touched by our athletes. We are thankful to all participating Host Towns and their tireless volunteers for opening their doors – and their hearts – to our athletes and coaches.”
“Serving as a Host Town for the Special Olympics World Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community and I am proud of the outpouring of support from our businesses and non-profit organizations. It is wonderful to see our community come out so strong for this wonderful event,” said Mayor Fredrick Sykes. “Over the course of the next several weeks, West Covina will be finalizing the activities for residents to come and show their support for Special Olympics Nippon before they compete in the World Games. I hope you come out and be part of history in West Covina,” McClenahan continued.
To learn more about how you can get involved with the West Covina Host Town program, please visit the City of West Covina’s website, www.westcovina.org, and www.LA2015.org/Host-Town/West-Covina.
The Host Town program has been an important element of the Special Olympics World Games since 1995, and the experience has left a lasting impression on the local communities in Ireland, Japan, China, Greece, South Korea and the United States, all of which have previously organized Host Town programs as part of the Special Olympics World Games.
About the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015: With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – being staged in Los Angeles July 25 – Aug. 2, 2015 – 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, to be held July 25 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.