At a press conference at the Forum on Oct. 16, Mayor James T. Butts announced that Inglewood has been officially selected to participate in the Special Olympics World Games Host Town program from July 21 – 24, 2015.
Before the Special Olympics World Games begin on July 25, 2015, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through the Host Town program. As many as one hundred communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego will have the honor of participating as an official Host Town.
“The Host Town program is an exciting way for Southern California locals to open our doors and show the athletes and coaches from around the world our hospitality and our culture,” said Patrick McClenahan, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA2015, the Games’ Organizing Committee.
“This is an important part of the World Games experience and a truly meaningful way for different communities to be part of the Games and create lasting memories for our visiting athletes.”
As a Host Town, Inglewood will have an opportunity to come together and support these champions, as they demonstrate what true commitment and determination is all about.
“With the help of our community, we will rally together to produce events on the order of the 1984 Olympics, when the basketball contests were held at the Forum,” said Mayor Butts. “The City of Inglewood will extend the ultimate in hospitality – the use of the ‘Fabulous’ Forum as our venue. The Forum has served as host to the Space Shuttle Endeavour and the astronaut crew, the Dalai Lama and most recently, the MTV Music Video Awards. We look forward to adding the Special Olympics and its competitors to this prestigious list.”
The Host Town program has been an important element of 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.
LA2015 is actively identifying potential Host Town candidates to be considered for the program. Communities are evaluated on the availability of lodging accommodations, sports practice facilities and recreation/entertainment offerings for the athletes, among other criteria. Host Towns are also responsible for planning activities for the athletes to introduce them to the community and help spread the word about the Games.
Inglewood joins the growing list of officially proclaimed Host Towns, which includes Long Beach, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Studio City, Manhattan Beach, West Covina, Arcadia, Burbank, Santa Clarita, Palmdale, La Mirada, Glendale, Palm Springs, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Irvine, Downey, Whittier, Simi Valley, Fountain Valley, Pasadena, Huntington Beach, Fullerton, Solvang and Oxnard. More Host Town selections will be announced in the coming weeks.
To learn more about the Special Olympics visit their web page at www.specialolympics.org