Stars To Usher In Special Olympics
Everyone from Stevie Wonder to Jimmy Kimmel and Avril Lavigne will be on hand to kick off the Special Olympics World Games next month, organizers say.
The summer games will begin July 25 with an opening ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum produced by the same team responsible for the opening events at the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and Sochi in 2014.
In addition to Wonder and Lavigne, performances are expected from Disney star Cody Simpson, rock band O.A.R., former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger and Latin pop singer J Balvin. What’s more, Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps, Yao Ming and other celebrities are slated to appear.
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“I am touched to be a part of this celebration of determination, courage, joy and skill,” Wonder said. “Throughout my own journey of overcoming the odds, it’s truly an inspiring moment to join these incredible athletes as they come to Los Angeles to compete and accomplish so many victories.”
The opening ceremony will launch more than a week of competition among athletes with disabilities from around the globe.
Organizers say that the World Games will bring together nearly 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 170 countries. Over 60,000 spectators, including royalty, heads of state and government leaders, are expected in Los Angeles for the event.
The opening ceremony will be broadcast live on ESPN.