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Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015) Opening Ceremony events announced

LOS ANGELES — The world’s largest sports and humanitarian event this year — the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015) — announced its initial star-studded lineup for the event’s Opening Ceremony on Saturday, July 25. Performers include Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne, O.A.R., Cody Simpson (featuring Special Olympics athlete Breanna Bogucki and YouTube sensation Madison Tevlin), Nicole Scherzinger, J Balvin, and Reach Up LA theme song creator Siedah Garrett. With appearances by WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, Global Ambassador for LA2015 Big Show, Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps, Yao Ming, Greg Louganis and Lauren Potter (one of the most popular actresses with an intellectual disability) among others, the show is set to be one of the most inspirational events Los Angeles has ever hosted.

Combined, these entertainers have sold more than 180 million albums and singles, and have been recognized for hundreds of accolades, including the Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, Billboard Music Awards and Billboard Latin Music Awards, World Music Awards, Golden Globe Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, Radio Disney Music Awards and Young Hollywood Awards. Nearly 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 170 countries will be welcomed at the Opening Ceremony, held at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the site of the Opening Ceremonies for both the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

More than 60,000 fans, including Royalty, Heads of State and Government, and other distinguished personalities will cheer on the athletes inside the Coliseum, while a global audience can watch coverage provided by ESPN, the official broadcast partner of the World Games. ESPN is airing the Opening Ceremony around the world in multiple languages. Tickets to the Opening Ceremony and this once-in-a-lifetime experience are now available for purchase via LA2015.org through Ticketmaster.

“Taking place in the heart of Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world, we are delighted to welcome these entertainment legends for a night to celebrate acceptance and inclusion for all,” said Patrick McClenahan, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. “Everyone in the Coliseum, as well as the millions of viewers tuning in around the world, will have the chance to cheer on and celebrate the true stars of the Games, the Special Olympics athletes.”

The creative production team who captured the world’s imagination with the Opening Ceremonies for both the London 2012 Olympic Games and Sochi 2014 Olympic Games — FiveCurrents — will executive produce the World Games Opening Ceremony. The team is working with Emmy Award winner Debbie Allen, who is the Director for the Opening Ceremony. Specific details of the night’s event, which will include the Parade of Athletes and culmination of the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® that will light the World Games cauldron, are being kept under tight security.

The World Games will be hosted for nine days from July 25 to Aug. 2 and feature 25 Olympic-style sports: Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Half Marathon, Handball, Judo, Kayaking, Open Water Swimming, Powerlifting, Roller Skating, Sailing, Softball, Table Tennis, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, and Beach Volleyball. These Games will showcase the unlimited potential of people with intellectual disabilities — the largest disability population in the world. Competitions will take place daily at 27 venues throughout Los Angeles and they are free and open to the public. Plan your outing to support the athletes by checking out the competition schedule at LA2015.org/schedule and download the LA2015 app on iTunes Store or Google Play Store.

The Opening Ceremony will take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, July 25, starting at 6 p.m. PT and will be televised to a worldwide audience by ESPN and local broadcast partners. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit LA2015.org. Stay tuned for more announcements soon of additional talent joining the Opening Ceremony and World Games.

WWE is a Promotional Partner for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. WWE will utilize all its platforms, including WWE Network, TV and pay-per-view broadcasts, Live Events, digital and social media to generate awareness and support of LA2015. WWE Superstars and Divas will participate in various events in conjunction with the promotion of LA2015 and WWE will develop and produce public service announcements (PSAs), which will air during WWE Live Events, on WWE Network and WWE TV broadcasts as well as LA2015 digital and social media assets. WWE Superstar Big Show will serve as a Global Ambassador for LA2015, participating in various events including the Opening Ceremony, awarding medals to athletes and providing support through social media.

WWE’s relationship with Special Olympics extends beyond LA2015. WWE was a Founding Partner for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games, a national sporting event that took place in New Jersey last June where WWE served as the Official Production Partner of the Games, producing daily recaps of the sporting competitions and special event, and WWE Superstars and Divas attended the Games. In addition, WWE produced an hourlong television show, “Celebrating Champions: 2014 Special Olympics USA Games” that aired on FOX Sports 1. WWE is also a Corporate Partner of Special Olympics Connecticut, and actively provides support for the organization through promotion, talent appearances and employee volunteering. In advance of WrestleMania 31, WWE launched Superstars for Hope, a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to benefit Special Olympics International.

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