The city of Palmdale will host Special Olympics delegations of athletes and coaches from Cyprus and St. Lucia this summer as part of the Special Olympics World Games Host Town program.
Before the World Games begin in Los Angeles in late July, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 counties will be welcomed throughout Southern California. The delegations will spend July 21-24 in and around Palmdale as they become acclimated to the time zone. They’ll also enjoy special activities and events being scheduled as they prepare to compete at the games.
“The Host Town program gives each community an opportunity to showcase to the world what makes them special, but more importantly to provide citizens with a better understanding of intellectual disabilities that will lead to acceptance and inclusion for all,” said Patrick McClenahan, president and CEO of LA2015, the Special Olympics organizing committee. “Long after the World Games are over, the memories of those three days spent at Host Town will leave a lasting legacy for Special Olympics Southern California and everyone who was touched by our athletes. We are thankful to all participating Host Towns and their tireless volunteers for opening their doors—and their hearts—to our athletes and coaches.”
An extensive itinerary of activities is scheduled for the athletes and coaches during their stay, including a kickball game at the Best of the West Softball Complex on July 22; Western line dancing, a cultural Q&A at Marie Kerr Park Recreation Center, a visit to Thursday Night on the Square on July 23, and a delegate farewell on July 24.
During their stay, the athletes will train at Marie Kerr Recreation Center.
To help raise funds to host the delegations, the city of Palmdale is encouraging the community to “like” the Host Town Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HostTownPalmdale.
“Host Towns are responsible for the costs of hosting their delegations, including expenses such as food, lodging and entertainment,” said John Mylnar, Palmdale communications manager. “If anyone would like to help with fundraising efforts, they can make a donation directly to the Host Town Palmdale program through the official Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 web portal from the Facebook page.”
The Host Town program has been a part of the Special Olympics World Games since 1995. The experience is said to have left lasting impressions on the local communities in Ireland, Japan, China, Greece, South Korea and in the United States, all of which have previously organized Host Town programs as part of the Special Olympics World Games.
For more details about the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit LA2015.org, and on social media at #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.