First Lady To Attend Special Olympics
First lady Michelle Obama is headed to Los Angeles next month to cheer on athletes with disabilities at the Special Olympics World Games, organizers say.
Obama will attend the opening ceremony of the games on July 25 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The first lady and President Barack Obama were previously named honorary co-chairs of the international event.
“The Special Olympics movement is thrilled and honored to have first lady Michelle Obama join us on the momentous occasion of our 2015 Special Olympics World Games,” said Tim Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics. “Her vision of wellness, fitness and inclusion of all in sport is at the heart of Special Olympics and will be seen in the spirit of the athletes who travel from over 170 countries to come together for fierce and exciting competition.”
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The opening ceremony is expected to feature performances by Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne, Nicole Scherzinger, Cody Simpson and the band O.A.R. Organizers say that in addition to Obama, other famous faces including Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps and Yao Ming are anticipated to appear at the event.
Special Olympics holds alternating winter and summer world games every two years in locations around the globe.
This summer’s games in Los Angeles July 25 to Aug. 2 are expected to draw nearly 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries in addition to over 500,000 spectators for competition in sports ranging from swimming and beach volleyball to judo and table tennis.
ESPN plans to broadcast the opening ceremony live. In addition, daily coverage of the games is slated to appear on ESPN, ABC or ESPN2.