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Our movement announced yesterday that our World Summer Games will be returning to Los Angeles in 2015 after more than forty years!  What a thrill it was for me to be at the announcement at the Staples Center in downtown LA with 20 Olympic legends, business and media leaders, elected leaders, and many other dedicated supporters and fans of our movement.

Each of these leaders committed to joining our Dignity Revolution and working in education, healthcare, government, sports, and local communities to promote acceptance and to advocate for the dignity of every individual regardless of his or her ability. These game-changing leaders committed to sharing Special Olympics’ story with new eyes, new power, and a new energy. And the 2015 World Games will be the capstone of the Dignity Revolution in LA.

I was thrilled to see Olympic legends, including Rafer Johnson, Apolo Ohno and John Naber join dozens of Special Olympics athletes including Dustin Plunkett, Tom Peale and Gabrielle Clark for the announcement.  And I was honored to be in the presence of longtime Special Olympics friends and champions, including Mayor Villaraigosa, LA Supervisor Don Knabe, Tim Leweike, Rob Freidman,  Patrick McClenahan, Bill Shumard, and my fellow current and former Board members Donna DeVerona,  Rosario Marin, and Michelle Kwan.  Our longtime champion, Loretta Claiborne, who competed in the Special Olympics’ International Games in Los Angeles in 1972, also returned to share her commitment to our Dignity Revolution.

It was fantastic to also have with us our supporters from Bank of America, Coca-Cola, P&G, Mattel, The Annenberg Foundations, the Law Enforcement Torch Run and representatives from both USC and UCLA joined us for this historic announcement.

Over the course of the next four years, it is going to take a lot of effort and support to build our Dignity Revolution in LA.  We need every teacher, administrator and student in LA to join us by starting a unified team and Spreading the Word about respect.

We need every studio leader, actor, writer and producer to join together and write scripts that put people with intellectual disabilities at the center.  These powerful influencers of culture must reinforce to the world that everyone one has value and that everyone can contribute to society in his or her own way.

We need every business leader, philanthropist and community leader to join, to contribute, to volunteer and to give to the best of their ability to make the Dignity Revolution come to life.

And we need every coach, athletic director, sports reporter and fan to join, tell the world that our athletes are the Best in Sport.  In LA, we aim to prove that we embody the real Olympic spirit.

I wasn’t at the Games in 1972 and neither were my sister Maria or my brother Bobby who both live in LA.  I can imagine though that my mother was scouring the town trying to find help for her unlikely experiment in a changing the world.  I know she’s here now – still scouring, still urging, still reminding us all that the Dignity Revolution has barriers to break, but oh what fun and what joy we will have in breaking them together.

-T

9 thoughts on “The Dignity Revolution heads to Los Angeles

  1. I would like to attend World Games in 2015 In LA Because it would be Nice to End it in the United States and then Go in to Coaching I’ve Been swimming since the Age of 5 and I attended the world Games in Athens Greece and Won 3 Medals And I would like to Attend another world Games and Focus on the events i didn’t win… I Love Special Olympics my goal is to meet michael phelps.. and Ryan Lochte and Peter vanderkaay Soon :)

  2. I hope I’ll be the one to be chosen to go to the world games in LA to repersent the USA, and mostly my town, Houston, TX to win a gold medal in basketball. My dream is still alive for it! My other dream is to meet a legend, Miss Loretta Claiborne.

  3. My name is Mona Sobieski & My Ultimate Dream & Once in a Life Time Golden Dream Come True Opportunity Wish would be to Train & Qualify & Be One of The Lucky Athletes Who Gets Choosen to Represent “Team USA at The 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles,California!!”
    In What in Sport ??? The Equestrian Special Olympics Competition Games
    Who would i Bring with me My Equine Best Friend & Buddy & Pal & 4 Time GOLD MEDALIST
    & 2=TWICE SILVER MEDALIST & Horse Show Super Star & Champ =>Jake Halpin
    & His Mom / Owner=Bev Halpin
    & My Numero Uno Stellar Out Of This World Coach =>Ms. Kari Hall
    & Of Course My San Marcos,Ca & South Pasadena, & Fullerton,California Family
    #1=My Sister Emmy & Brother in law Joe & Step Sister’s Amanda & Allyson & Bella
    #2=My South Pasadena,Ca Family James & Anne ELIZABETH & James & Ollie
    #3=My Aunt Lada & My Uncle Guido Marx
    #4=My God Sister Charlotte Landon
    #5=My Best Friend Stacey Sackin
    & Of COurse Ms. Mona Sobieski i would Contact My Northern California Family
    & Invite Them to attend & Cheer on “Team Game Creek Ranch Mona & Jake”
    If & When We Mona & Jake Both Officially Get Selected & Invited to Make The Officiall Trip
    to The Officiall 2015 World Summer Games on “Team USA!!!” In Los Angeles,California U.S.A.

    Currently Team Halpin is Prepareing & Training & Practice-ing at GCR
    To Attend “The 2011 Fall State of Wyoming U.S.A. Equestrian Special Olympics Competition Games Which will be held in Casper,Wyoming at =>The ARENA at The Casper–Natrona Fair Grounds!!!
    When =>October 19th & 20th & 21st 2011 !!!
    Accompany-ing “Team Halpin”
    The New GCR Owner & Barn Manager=BEV HALPIN
    The Officiall Head Coach =>Ms. Kari Hall
    The 4 Time Gold Medalist & 2 Twice Silver Medalist GCR Representitive AThlete Mona Sobieski
    The Equine CHamp & Super Star Representing GCR =JAKE HALPIN
    Please Help Make GCR’s Wish & Dream An Officiall 1st Time Golden Dream Come True Opportunity & Experience & Memorable Trip.. That would be Remembered For The Rest of Our Life Times!!!
    Team Halpin is From Game Creek Ranch in Jackson,Wyoming

  4. it my dream to go back home worldgame,s to see world in sunny calif for special olympic,s i can vist all my friend in special olympic,s. i can be with friend @ family @coach too. thank u very much special olympic,s famliy. luv jock l mayes.

  5. Our son, Bryan, competed in Ireland at the 2003 SO Summer World Games and he and I both came home with gold medals in Unified bowling. It was an unbelievable experience for our entire family and we are looking forward to perhaps competing again in LA in 2015. At the very least, we will all be there as supporters and fans. Tom Lambke, Chandler, AZ

  6. I so hope as an athlete am chosen to go as I have not yet gone to world games and I am so looking forward to those who go and I still have a chance to make it one day! Los Angeles would be nice as all the holly wood stars are there my one dream I would love to make happen to meet!

    I am a swimmer and track n Field athlete and would love the world games!

    Ashley Johnson
    26 years old
    The Dalles Oregon

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