- Kevin Neghandhi hosts 2018 Special Olympics USA Games at 5 p.m. ET
- ESPN.com coverage continues with powerful features/stories
- ESPN3 Live Streaming of swimming competitions
- ESPN Images capturing the action of the Special Olympics USA Games
ESPN’s global coverage of 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Seattle, continues tonight at 5 p.m. ET. Hosted by ESPN’s Kevin Neghandhi, 2018 Special Olympics USA Games includes interviews with athletes and special guests, as well as a daily competition showcase segment that will feature analysts Victoria Arlen, Rowdy Gaines, Daina Shilts and Paul Sunderland and reporting from ESPN’s Marty Smith, Holly Rowe and Jen Lada.
ON TONIGHT’S SHOW:
Ben Collins: Despite being legally blind, Ben is a skilled bocce player and has taken the sport to a new level. He also works at Special Olympics International in Washington, D.C. and independently commutes to work every day via the Metro.
Devon Adleman: Devon, who has Down syndrome, has become an accomplished advocate for others delivering speeches all over the country, including the United Nations. She defied the odds by graduating high school, attending Highline College and now working a full-time job in downtown Seattle, commuting every day on her own.
Andrew Bryant: ESPN’s Julie Foudy traveled to Seattle to run with extremely accomplished runner Andy Bryant. Despite his Autism diagnosis, Andy has completed 30 marathons.
For those that missed last night’s, highlights included:
Andrew Peterson: Born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, 25-year-old Andrew Peterson became a 3-time Special Olympics gold medalist after his father helped him find his voice and his passion. Read | Watch
Paul Lepre: Paul started participating in the Special Olympics in 1968 and is now one of the oldest athletes in Special Olympics. He is a stroke survivor and has also overcome a drinking problem. He is now 34 years sober and credits Special Olympics with saving his life. Watch
ESPN DIGITAL FEATURES & COVERAGE
ESPN’s global digital platforms – the world’s leading portfolio of digital sports properties in the world, including local editions of ESPN.com and the ESPN App, streaming platforms and more – are offering extensive coverage throughout the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Seattle.
With news, long-form feature storytelling, video, blogs from athletes, coaches and volunteers, photo galleries and more, ESPN examines the people and topics of the Special Olympics movement.
Among the highlighted coverage today:
- Jessica Grammer – Dreams Do Come True: When Jessica learned she was going to the USA Games, she screamed a celebratory “Yes!” And her swimming prowess isn’t the only thing she contributes to Team Missouri. Read
- A Fish Called JoJo: Jolinda Harris, affectionately called JoJo by her family, was draw to the water as a young child. The ocean was her playground – and her solace. Now as a 12-year old, she finds that peace in the pool as a Special Olympics swimmer. Read
- Meet Divine Pearl Navalta, aka The Sparkling Diva: The Special Olympics runner earned that nickname from her friends because of her fun, outgoing personality — and now at the USA Games, she’s channeling that energy on the track to win gold. Read
ESPN Images photographers are capturing photos from around the Special Olympics USA Games throughout the week, including these:
ESPN3 will LIVE stream coverage from swimming competitions at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center as follows:
|Wed, July 4
|Thu, July 5
ESPN and Special Olympics
ESPN is proud of its relationship with Special Olympics, which spans more than 32 years. Over the past four years, ESPN has continued to deepen its relationship with the Special Olympics movement and in addition to being the Official Broadcaster for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, it will also celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics in the year ahead and will also be the Official Media Partner of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, hosted in Abu Dhabi.
ESPN and Special Olympics are committed to continuing their alliance to use the power of sports to promote social inclusion and acceptance through two pillars of the relationship: ESPN’s Global Presenting Sponsorship of Special Olympics Unified Sports® and a multi-year global programming agreement.
Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Special Olympics Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. With support from ESPN and others, Special Olympics has grown this innovative and inclusive program to more than 1.2 million participants.
In past few years, ESPN has invested over $2 million in cash and in-kind to support Special Olympics’ goal of building Unified Sports programming and resources in 10,000 schools, reaching 100,000 new or re-certified coaches and realizing 7 million acts of inclusion by 2020. Included in this investment was capacity-building resources for a new global cloud based CRM project, ongoing research to help Special Olympics establish a global inclusion index and integration with leagues such as MLS and NBA.
ESPN previously served as the Official Broadcaster of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria and 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, and ESPN employees have been engaged in volunteerism with Special Olympics for over 32 years. Over 1,000 ESPN and Disney employees will be volunteering at the USA Games in Seattle.
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use the power of sport to positively address society’s most pressing needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship.