- Kevin Negandhi Hosts Nightly Coverage of 2019 Special Olympics World Games
- LIVE Daily Streaming Competition Coverage on ESPN3
- ESPN.com coverage continues with powerful features and stories
ESPN’s global coverage of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 began with live coverage of the Games’ Opening Ceremony and continues every night this week with Special Olympics Winter Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
Hosted by ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi, the program originates on site in Abu Dhabi and includes interviews, features, special guests, a daily competition showcase segment and contributions from ESPN’s Julie Foudy, Jen Lada and Gene Wojciechowski, as well as ESPN contributor and Special Olympics Ambassador, Daina Shilts.
ON TONIGHT’S SHOW
- Jon Harmon: a bowler with 13 perfect games to his name says bowling helped him find his place.
- Bradley “Robert” Moore: a U.S. equestrian athlete, could not walk or talk until age five. When his foster parents introduced him to horses, riding changed everything. Robert has earned an Associate’s Degree and is now pursuing his college degree in computer science.
- Competition highlights, including American equestrian Renee Phifer, Jamaican athletics competitor Kirk Wint, soccer, swimming, volleyball, roller skating and powerlifting.
For those that missed last night’s show, highlights included:
- Khadija Sy: Sy is a track athlete from Senegal who found her voice through participation in Special Olympics. She won a bronze medal in athletics in Athens, silver in Los Angeles and, for months now, has been training hard to earn a gold medal in Abu Dhabi. Watch
- Andrew Peterson: Peterson is a long distance runner who competed in the half marathon in the Games, and will be competing in the Boston Marathon this April. Peterson joined the Indiana Washington Township Special Olympics program in 2011, and since then has dominated distance running races. Watch
- Ashton Smith: Smith, a Special Olympics USA Games gold and silver medalist, speaks about the power of inclusion. Smith, blind one eye, counts her strokes as she swims to help her keep track of the distance traveled.
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 Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi.
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:
- Michelle “Angel” Athenas: Abandoned as a baby, Michelle “Angel” Athenas has an innate ability to survive, and now she’s thriving as a Special Olympics powerlifter — with the gold medals to prove it. Watch
- Mary Roberts: For Special Olympics coach Mary Roberts, the Arizona Unified basketball team is a second family — and the athletes she coaches agree. “She’s like a second mother,” says Jeffrey Anthony, a Unified basketball player. Watch
- Khadija Sy: When Senegal’s Khadija Sy discovered Special Olympics, it changed her life. “She’s confident, she has friends, she’s doing what she wants,” says her mother. Watch
ESPN Images is capturing photos from around the Special Olympics World Games throughout the week, including the below.
SCHEDULE: 2019 SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES ABU DHABI
|Tue, Mar 19||LIVE Event Coverage from multiple sports & venues||12 – 11 a.m.||ESPN3|
|2019 Special Olympics World Games||1 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Wed, Mar 20||LIVE Event Coverage from multiple sports & venues||12 – 10:30 a.m.||ESPN3|
|2019 Special Olympics World Games||1 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Thu, Mar 21||2019 Special Olympics World Games||12 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Fri, Mar 22||2019 Special Olympics World Games||12 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Sat, Mar 30||Best of Special Olympics World Games||3 p.m.||ABC|
ESPN AND SPECIAL OLYMPICS
ESPN is proud of its relationship with Special Olympics, which spans more than 33 years. Over the past five years, ESPN has continued to deepen its relationship with the Special Olympics movement. ESPN served as the Official Broadcaster for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle as well as the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics in Chicago. In 2019, ESPN will serve as the Official Media Partner of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, hosted in Abu Dhabi.
In 2016, ESPN and Special Olympics committed to continuing their alliance to use the power of sports to promote social inclusion and acceptance by reaching two agreements: an extension, and expansion, of ESPN’s Global Presenting Sponsorship of Special Olympics Unified Sports® and a new, three-year global programming agreement.
ESPN grants support Special Olympics Unified Sports, as well as other initiatives, and extends and expands a role ESPN has held since 2013. 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 1.6 million participants. As part of the continued support of Unified Sports, ESPN will invest in Special Olympics’ goal to build Unified Sports programming and resources in 10,000 schools by 2020 and ensuring 100,000 coaches receive new/renewed sports certifications by 2020.
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.
ESPN employees have been engaged in volunteerism with Special Olympics for over 32 years. Over 500 ESPN and Disney employees volunteered 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.