6 things you didn’t know about the World Games

The opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics World Games are this Saturday, July 25. Here are six awesome things you didn’t know about #LA2015.

Five Alpha Sigma Alphas are volunteering at the games thanks to a grant from Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority.

Karla Cook, ΔK – workforce assistant
Taryn Marstella, ΘΠ – golf volunteer
Delaney White, ΔI – medical services
Caroline Stamp, AB – awards escort
Laura Mersman, EE – production assistant

For the first time, Alpha Sigma Alpha offered service grants to members to be used for travel, lodging and meals while volunteering at the World Games. The women selected to receive a grant will be on-site for the duration of the World Games from July 25 through August 2.

One Alpha Sigma Alpha is a coach for Team USA

Alumna Joanne Weber Catron, A, is the coach for the United States Bocce team.

Joanne has been a longtime supporter and volunteer for Special Olympics. She has been a special education teacher since 1985 and is currently working as the lead special education teacher/teacher for the blind for Charlotte County Public Schools in Virginia.

Follow Joanne at #LA2015

Joanne is also a dedicated volunteer for Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority. She is currently serving as the convention event team leader for the 2016 National Convention & Leadership Conference in Orlando, FL. This will be the third convention Joanne has served as the team leader. She is also a member of the volunteer management team and has served as a district meeting coordinator and advisor of Alpha Chapter, Longwood University, VA.

More than 6,500 athletes and 2,000 coaches will represent 165 countries competing in 25 Olympic-style sports at the World Games.

From July 25 – Aug. 2, 2015, athletes from around the world will come together and compete in these games in venues around Los Angeles including the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. Competitions include basketball, beach volleyball, football, judo, sailing, tennis and more.

More than 30,000 volunteers and 500,000 spectators will be at the world games, making this the largest sports and humanitarian event in 2015.

The vision of the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (#LA2015) is to be a milestone event of a long-lasting movement, founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, to create a world that is not dominated by those who are excluded but by those who are included. The biennial World Games are the flagship event of the Special Olympics Movement, and this summer, the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event will come to the world capital for media and entertainment.

The Flame of Hope has been carried across the country and will end its run at the site of the opening ceremonies of the World Games, Los Angeles.

The Unifed Relay Across America brings the nation together for awareness and understanding of the mission of Special Olympics. More than 10,000 people carried the Flame of Hope coast to coast across the United States.

For more than 33 years, law enforcement officers have been volunteering together to champion acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities through the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Lighting the way to a future of inclusion, law enforcement officers have used the Flame of Hope as their beacon to unite their communities in acceptance. This year, they will take their role as Guardians of the Flame to a new level as they champion the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America.

See photos from the run.

ESPN will broadcast the Opening Ceremony on July 25, and will have a broadcast of the Games every night at 7:00 p.m. ET.

ESPN’s coverage will be live from inside the Los Angeles Coliseum and will bring viewers the Parade of Athletes, the lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron, as well as capture performances by Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne, O.A.R., Cody Simpson (featuring Special Olympics athlete Breanna Bogucki and YouTube sensation Madison Tevlin), Nicole Scherzinger, J Balvin, and the Reach Up LA theme song creator Siedah Garrett. It will also feature appearances by Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps, Greg Louganis, Stephanie McMahon, Lauren Potter (among the most popular actresses with an intellectual disability) and others.

ESPN’s nightly Special Olympics World Games LA 2015 show will be 30 minutes each night, with the exception of hour-long shows on Friday, July 31 and Saturday, Aug 1, as well as the August 7 Best of Special Olympics World Games #LA2015 program.

See the full schedule of ESPN coverage of the games.

Follow along the action of the games on social media #LA2015.

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