• New channel available to all in Europe, the Middle East and Africa
• ESPN Player will stream the live opening ceremony and nightly studio shows to wrap up the daily action
• Kayaker and swimmer Steven Dodd one of many Brits competing at the Games
ESPN Player will deliver the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games – starting on July 25th in Los Angeles, California – as a free channel available to all in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The 2015 Games will feature competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football (soccer) and many other summer sports involving athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world.
With 6,500 competitors and 2,000 coaches representing 165 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games will be the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. With the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, it will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. Kayaker Steven Dodd is one of the many British athletes travelling to California, with aspirations of so much more than winning gold. You can read his blog, where he tells his story in the build-up to the Games here.
Special Olympics’ mission is to provide sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. The World Games is the showpiece event in the Special Olympics calendar, which is alternated between Summer and Winter Games every 2 years.
Special Olympics World Games LA 2015 — Opening Ceremony and Nightly Coverage
ESPN’s coverage of the World Games Opening Ceremony will mark the first-ever complete, live coverage of the star-studded spectacle. Hosted by Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, she is joined by ESPN’s Lindsey Czarniak and Kevin Negandhi who will host the international Parade of Athletes.
ESPN’s coverage will be live from inside the Los Angeles Coliseum and will bring viewers the Parade of Athletes, the lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron, as well as capture performances by 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 the Reach Up LA theme song creator Siedah Garrett. It will also feature appearances by Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps, Greg Louganis, Stephanie McMahon, Lauren Potter (among the most popular actresses with an intellectual disability) and others.
ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap and Marty Smith, as well as Special Olympics Global Messenger Dustin Plunkett, will report – both live and recorded – from the Opening Ceremony and throughout ESPN’s coverage of the Games. The coverage begins with the opening ceremony on Sunday July 25th at 2:00am BST and will be followed by a Nightly Studio Show every night (at midnight BST) for the following week – which provides highlights of all the daily action. Simply visit ESPNPlayer.com to register and watch the 2015 Special Olympics World Games live and on-demand, free.