WWE and FOX Sports announced that “Celebrating Champions: 2014 Special Olympics USA Games,” a one-hour television event chronicling the passion, dedication and determination of America’s most inspiring athletes during the week-long celebration of the 2014 USA Games, will air on FOX Sports 1 June 30 at 7 ET. The special, produced by WWE, will be hosted by Mike Hill and Molly McGrath of FOX Sports 1’s “America’s Pregame.” Customers of participating video providers can also watch via FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content through iOS and Android devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGO.com.
The one-hour special will highlight six Special Olympics athletes as they travel from their hometowns to the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. Viewers will experience a first-hand account of the excitement and pride each athlete exudes while training for, traveling to, and participating in the Games.
The special will include the following six athletes:
- Theo “TC” Bazile, a 40-year-old from Vacherie, La., is a track and field athlete in sprints and shot put. Theo is very involved his community, where he volunteers at the local nursing home and fire department, sings in his church choir and remains active with his former high school football team.
- Erica Bookout is a long-distance runner from Christiansburg, Va. The 22-year-old is a Junior at Radford University in Virginia majoring in Special Education. She is also the 2013 Special Olympics Virginia Athlete of the Year.
- Andy Miyares, a 31-year-old from Miami, has competed in multiple sports, but has a passion for swimming and holds numerous records in the sport. He works for Special Olympics Miami-Dade and speaks both Spanish and English. In 2010, Andy was selected to serve a four-year term as one of just 12 Special Olympics International Global Messengers chosen from around the world to represent Special Olympics.
- Derrick and Delon Noble, identical twin brothers from Bloomfield, N.J., compete in flag football. At 21 years old, Derrick is the quarterback and Delon is the running back. In addition to playing in the 2014 USA Games, during the last two weeks they’ve attended prom, seen their images on a Times Square billboard to promote the Games and graduated from high school. The twins were also honorary captains at a Rutgers football game last fall.
- Scott Rohrer, a 24-year-old from York, S.C., is the 2010 Special Olympics USA Games Gold Medal Golfer with record scores for both 18-hole and 54-hole tournaments. Scott was also the 2013 South Carolina Special Olympics Athlete of the Year and he will be playing in Special Olympics World Golf Cup this August in Denmark.
In addition to the athlete profiles, the TV special will include highlights from the 2014 USA Games Opening Ceremony from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., which was hosted by actress and model Brooklyn Decker and Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams. The Ceremony included the traditional parade of athletes, athlete oaths and the lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron. Other celebrities that participated in the Opening Ceremony included WWE Superstars Big Show and David Otunga, TV personality Jack Ford, Glee’s Jane Lynch and musical artists Michael DelGuidice & Big Shot.
Also included is coverage of the first-ever Young Athletes Festival, held at the Special Olympics New Jersey Sports Complex. Children between the ages of 2 and 7 and their families were invited to learn more about this program which provides critical early childhood development through the power of play.
Founding Partner WWE has helped promote the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games through its global platforms, including TV broadcasts, live events, digital and social media, all of which increased the exposure of Special Olympics and reached a larger and more diverse audience. The partnership was announced in 2013 during WrestleMania 29 in front of more than 80,000 fans at a sold-out MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and millions more watching around the world.
Over the past year, WWE has hosted Special Olympics athletes at its weekly live events, including WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans, where the athletes got a chance to meet WWE Superstars and Divas, sit ringside and be recognized on TV for their accomplishments. WWE Superstars and Divas also served as honorary coaches for Special Olympics Unified Sports competitions around the country.
WWE is the Official Production Partner of the 2014 USA Games, which included producing Celebrating Champions, producing the official sizzle reel and PSA, filming and serving as a production consultant for the Opening Ceremony, and creating daily electronic press kits for national media to help enhance coverage of the Games. In addition, WWE Superstars and Divas participated in various events at the Games, including daily autograph signings and medal presentations, while WWE employees served as volunteers.