- Kevin Neghandhi hosts 2018 Special Olympics USA Games at 6 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 6 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:
- Catherine Gruss: Catherine is Healthy Athletes success story. She was losing hearing in one ear, but doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. Doctors at Special Olympics Healthy Athletes found a tumor in her ear and removed it improving Catherine’s hearing by 80 percent. Unrelated to her hearing issues, Catherine passed out while at work and was declared clinically dead at the hospital. When she was revived, her first question to doctors was when her next bocce practice was scheduled.
- JoJo Harris: JoJo grew up in the Republic of Marshall Islands and is nicknamed after the JoJo fish — the fastest fish around the islands. She looks up to her brother Giordan who represented the Marshall Islands at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics and began swimming at the age of five. Such an elite swimmer, she often competes in older age brackets at competitions. The family moved to Nevada so JoJo could receive a better education and up until this year, she was non-verbal.
- Kentucky Gymnastics: ESPN’s Julie Foudy traveled to Lexington, Ky., where she spent the day with the Team Kentucky Gymnastics squad also known as “The Fab 5,” where she was able to given them a surprise of a lifetime.
For those that missed last night’s, highlights included:
- 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. Watch
- Special Olympics Gold Medalis Gets Emotional After Win: Victoria Smith, who won gold in the 100M freestyle, says you can compete regardless of one’s disability and explains what her mom means to her. Watch
- Positive Vibes at Special Olympics Opening Ceremony: Daina Shilts catches the positive vibes at the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony. 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:
- Blind Special Olympics Athlete Ben Collins Showed me His Worldview: Collins is a Special Olympics athlete, a 51-year-old bocce ball player who not only competes in Special Olympics but also works at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Read
- Brittany Tagliareni – A Role Model for All Athletes: Special Olympics Florida athlete Brittany Talgliareni followed her brother into tennis and hasn’t looked back since. Watch
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 today at 4:30 p.m.
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.