About Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015)
Thursday, April 16, 2015 marks the 100-Day countdown to the start of the
2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
The 25-sport competition will be held over 9 days from July 25 – August 2, 2015 in venues
across Los Angeles from Long Beach to Griffith Park.
7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries will participate, making it the largest
sporting event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics!
The Opening Ceremony will be held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, July 25
and will be televised to a worldwide audience by ESPN.
• The Mission of these World Games is to create the awareness that leads to acceptance and
inclusion of all people with intellectual disabilities, which is Embodied in our logo:
• At the center of our logo is the Celebratory Figure representing the courage, determination and
joy of Special Olympics athletes. The Celebratory Pose is a universal expression of praise,
enthusiasm and celebration.
• The Celebratory Figure is inside the Circle of Acceptance and
Inclusion, the overall mission of these World Games…creating the
awareness that leads to acceptance and inclusion of all people
with intellectual disabilities.
And the colorful Mosaic represents the diversity of 177 countries
coming to the diverse market of Los Angeles and the opportunity
to share this mission of acceptance and inclusion with every
corner of this region.
LA2015 is represented virtually through the mnemonic Celebratory Pose and tagline
“REACH UP LA.” Together, these are a representation of the celebratory figure at the center of
the World Games logo. The tagline “REACH UP LA” is both a verb as well as acronym for our
brand pillars.
REACH: Respect, Enthusiasm, Acceptance, Compassion, Heart UP: Unified Play
LA: Los Angeles
Visit LA2015.org for more information on everything related to the World Games.
Special Olympics Language Guidelines: Terms to Use, and Terms to Avoid
Words matter. Words can open doors to cultivate the understanding and respect that enable
people with disabilities to lead fuller, more independent lives. Words can also create barriers or
stereotypes that are not only demeaning to people with disabilities, but also rob them of their
individuality. The following language guidelines have been developed by experts for use by
anyone writing or speaking about people with intellectual disabilities to ensure that all people are
portrayed with individuality and dignity.
Refer to as individuals with intellectual disabilities*, rather than “intellectually disabled people”
or “the intellectually disabled.” (People first language) * Special Olympics advocates for the
removal of the R-Word (“retarded”) in the public domain in order to promote acceptance and
inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A person has intellectual disabilities, rather than is “suffering from” or is a “a victim of”
intellectual disabilities.
Distinguish between adults and children with intellectual disabilities. Use adults or children, or
older or younger athletes. Please do not call Special Olympics athletes “kids”.
Refer to participants in Special Olympics as athletes.
Avoid using the term “Olympic” (singular) or “Olympian” when referring to Special Olympics
activities and athletes.
Incorrect: “Special Olympians from all around the world are coming.”
Correct: “Special Olympics athletes from all around the world are coming.”
Incorrect: “Annabel is a Special Olympic athlete from California.”
Correct: “Annabel is a Special Olympics athlete from California.” (Olympics is always plural)
Do not use the adjective "unfortunate" when talking about persons with an intellectual disability.
An intellectual disability does not have to be life-defining in a negative way.
Use the word "special" with extreme care when talking about persons with intellectual disabilities.
The term, if used excessively in references to Special Olympics athletes and activities, can
become a cliché.
About the Special Olympics Movement
More than 4.4 million children and adults with intellectual disabilities participate in Special
Olympics worldwide.
There are 226 Special Olympics Programs in 170 countries around the world.
Last year, Special Olympics had over 81,000 competitions – an average of 222 games each day.
None of this would be possible without the support of the more than 1.3 million volunteers who
support Special Olympics Programs in their communities.
Special Olympics athletes have an intellectual disability (whereas athletes with physical disabilities
compete in Paralympics).
Special Olympics athletes are people of all ages, from 8 to over 80, not just children.
Inactivity, intolerance and injustice are big problems in the world, especially for those with
intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics movement is tackling these issues every day around
the world using sport as the catalyst to make this change. To assist in making change,
Special Olympics is looking to young people around the world to be the leaders to make change
in their schools, and communities.
Special Olympics launched the #PlayUnified campaign, that will mobilize and inspire millions of
athletes, volunteers, supporters and youth across the world to Play and ultimately Live Unified
and shape the world to one of respect and acceptance. Join today and visit playunified.org.