More than 100 athletes have been chosen to represent Special Olympics Great Britain at next year’s World Summer Games in Los Angeles, the four yearly-global showpiece event for Special Olympics.
In total, 7,000 athletes from 177 countries – along with 3,000 coaches, 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators – will take part in the Games.
The opening ceremony is expected to attract 80,000 spectators, including the honorary chair of the Games, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti and California governor Jerry Brown are serving as honorary hosts for the Games.
Janet Froetscher, Special Olympics’ global CEO, said: "In 300 days, thousands of Special Olympics athletes from over 170 countries will take the global stage in Los Angeles to compete in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, living out their dreams and showing the world their determination, hard work and bravery.
"I congratulate the 116 Special Olympics Great Britain athletes who are heading to the Games next summer. These Games will give us an opportunity to raise awareness for the nearly 200 million people worldwide with intellectual disabilities and create more inclusive communities and a more inclusive world for everyone."
Largest sports & humanitarian event of 2015
The World Summer Games will commence on July 25 with an opening ceremony held in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – the site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games.
The event, which will run until August 2, will be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2015. It will also be the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.
Special Olympics GB’s CEO, Karen Wallin, said: "I am delighted that we are able to take such a large team to represent the country at what should be an incredible World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
"This should be a Games to remember and we send our sincere congratulations to everyone who has reached the team. We will be proud of every athlete and we know they will strive to be the very best they can. We will bring home medals but most importantly our athletes will obtain memories, friendships and experiences to last a lifetime."
The Games will feature 28 sports at venues throughout the Los Angeles region all aimed at encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities and promoting acceptance for all.
Founded in 1968, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4 million in 177 countries in all regions of the world, providing year round sports training and competition.
To see the full squad and find out more information visit: www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk