2015 Special Olympics WORLD GAMES
WORLD GAMES SPECIAL OLYMPIANS at Breakfast at Wolf Creek Resort Host Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake
E T Russell___In March 2015, Special Olympics announced the cities that
would participate as the World Games Host Towns beginning July 21st. Delegates from as many as 170 Special
Olympics Programs, from around the world spent three days and nights in
communities stretching from San Luis Obispo to San Diego as part of the Host
Town program – enjoying a warm welcome to the United States before moving into
the Athlete Villages at USC and UCLA on July 24th.
The Opening Ceremony of the World Games, was held at the
historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 25th and televised to a
worldwide audience by ESPN.
The Host Town program has been an important element of Special
Olympics World Games since 1995. 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.
Communities are evaluated on the availability of lodging
accommodations, sports practice facilities and recreation/entertainment
offerings for the athletes, among other criteria. Each Host Town committee is
also responsible for planning activities for the athletes to introduce them to
the community and help spread the word about the World Games.
Photos by Rotarian Dave Johnson
“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. “Long after the World Games are over, the memories of those
three days spent at Host Towns, 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.”
About Special Olympics Southern California Founded in 1969
by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern
California offers opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities
to participate in year-round sports training and competition. More than 17,000
athletes and 15,000 coaches and volunteers take part in 12 Olympic-style
sports. For more information, visit www.sosc.org.
Big Bear Lake:
Chile, Luxembourg, Montenegro
Bear Valley welcome’ began early morning Wednesday 21st July at the Wine Room at Wolf Creek Resort, located on Big Bear Boulevard.
Host David Stone and fellow members of Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake served breakfast
to the Special Olympians from Chile, Luxembourg
and Montenegro. The outdoor patio was an excellent setting for the
California-style breakfast of an abundant variety of bananas, watermelon, and
grapes, tortillas, bacon, turkey sausage, hash-browns.
As one of the chosen World Games Host Towns,
Big Bear Lake, the Rotarians greeted the Olympians as they
served the first-class breakfast. Another venue for the athletes was held at
Sonora Cantina with hosts Gabriel and Maria Rojas. Resort owner Dave Stone (also a Rotarian) provided
lodging for the Olympians. San Bernardino County Sheriff – Big Bear Deputy Jim
Wijnhamer was the major coordinator with Rick Bates of the Events Office.