PALMDALE – With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – being staged in Los Angeles – will be the largest sports-and-humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.
The city of Palmdale will have the honor of serving as an official “Host Town” from July 21-24, 2015.
“This is going be a very proud opportunity for the city,” said Palmdale Mayor Pro Tem Tom Lackey at a press conference Wednesday to announce the news. “It’s going to bring more than just emotional strength; it will also bring a vibrancy in economic conditions.”
As a Host Town, Palmdale will be a place where athletes and guests can find dining, entertainment, and shopping options, such as the Antelope Valley Mall, or attractions like the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark, Devil’s Punchbowl or DryTown Water Park.
“It is quite an honor to be selected as a Host Town for an event that’s as well-known, admired and respected as the Special Olympics,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford in a news release. “We look forward to welcoming all the athletes, coaches and visitors to Palmdale – the birthplace of the space shuttles – and sharing our wonderful hospitality and amenities.”
“We’re going to roll out the red carpet, and when it’s all done… we’re all going to be better off for having had that experience,” said Palmdale City Councilmember Fred Thompson.
The Host Town program has been an important element of Special Olympics World Games since 1995, and the experience has left a lasting impression on the local communities in Ireland, Japan, China, Greece, South Korea and the United States, all of which have previously organized Host Town programs as part of the Special Olympics World Games.
Host Towns are responsible for planning activities for the athletes to introduce them to the community and for helping to spread the word about the World Games.
Palmdale is one of a hundred communities, from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, opening its doors as a Host Town for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015.
For more information on this event, visit http://www.la2015.org/.