2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Team Canada Roster Announced!

TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Special Olympics Canada is proud to announce the full roster of Team Canada members who will be headed to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games next summer in Los Angeles, California. This is the largest delegation Special Olympics Canada has sent to a World Summer Games. Please find the full Team Canada roster here.

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games will feature 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from over 177 countries, alongside an incredible 30,000 volunteers. Athletes will be competing in 26 different sports over 9 days at venues throughout Los Angeles, including the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.  The 2015 World Summer Games will be the largest event held in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Summer Games.

"We are thrilled with the enthusiasm and incredible athleticism of Team Canada's athletes," said Sharon Bollenbach, CEO of Special Olympics Canada. "The 2015 World Games in Los Angeles will be an amazing opportunity for our athletes to show the world their exceptional abilities, determination and drive. I am excited to see them compete and put Canada in the spotlight!"

Team Canada consists of 115 athletes, 32 coaches, 11 mission staff, 3 team managers and 1 Chef de Mission who will be traveling to Los Angeles next July, with 85 of the athletes attending their first World Games. The age range of athletes is broad, with the youngest Team Canada member competing at 14 and the oldest at 68! Athletes on Team Canada will be competing in basketball, bocce and golf for the first time on the world stage, in addition to soccer, athletics, swimming, 10-pin bowling, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics and softball. Athletes competed in their Provincial or Territorial Games in 2013, and National Games, which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia this past July. Several years of hard work and training have brought them to this event.

"This is a very exciting time for Team Canada. We get to welcome an amazing group of athletes and coaches onto our team and begin our focused training and preparation for World Games," said Chef de Mission for Team Canada, Johnny Byrne. "Every new member has earned their position on this team through hard work, commitment and their performance at National Games. The next ten months will be a rewarding journey for us as we prepare to achieve excellence in sport and as ambassadors for Canada at the World Games in Los Angeles."

Special Olympics Canada will offer training camps for athletes attending Games as part of the National Team Program, a formalized approach to training and preparation for Special Olympics World Games. Athletes, coaches and mission staff will have access to quality training, coaching and competitive opportunities to support optimal performance as well as a positive experience as a member of the National Team. The training camps will take place this October throughout Ontario.

About Special Olympics Canada

Established in 1969, the Canadian chapter of this international movement is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport. Operating year-round in all Canadian provinces and territories except Nunavut, this grassroots movement reaches beyond the sphere of sport to empower individuals, change attitudes, and build communities. From two-year olds to mature adults, there are more than 36,000 children and adults with an intellectual disability registered in Special Olympics programs across Canada. They are supported by more than 17,000 volunteers, including close to 13,000 trained coaches.

For further information: Visit www.specialolympics.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@SpecialOCanada).

About the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games 

With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games - being staged in Los Angeles July 25 - August 2, 2015 - will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. On April 30, 2014, LA2015 and ESPN announced a global programming deal that will see ESPN bring coverage of World Games to millions of fans around the world. Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts. Current Founding Champions and sponsors include The Coca-Cola Company, Mattel, Deloitte, Toyota, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Davis Elen Advertising, AEG, David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, The Walt Disney Company, and Knights of Columbus. LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org.

SOURCE: Special Olympics Canada

For further information: Bill Wilson, Director, Marketing and Communications, Special Olympics Canada, BWilson@specialolympics.ca, T: 647-826-4383

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