Tuesday, July 28, 2015 – Los Angeles, California. Contingents from 22 Digicel markets paraded before a packed Los Angeles Coliseum for the Opening of the Special Olympics World Games on Saturday, July 25 and were met with thunderous applause as they made their way along the red carpet to their respective seats.
Over 500 athletes from Digicel territories in Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Caribbean were represented at the pinnacle event of the special needs sports realm.
Many territories sought to show off their national costumes and dances as they made their way into the Coliseum, much to the delight of the crowd. Many fans and families were dressed in team colours to support their own – among them many celebrities from the acting and sporting fraternities.
For the first time in 16 years, the World Games, the brainchild of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, returned to the US and features 6500 athletes from 177 countries, competing in 25 sporting disciplines, ranging from track and field to basketball and bocce.
The half-million estimated spectators were treated to an opening that included performances by Latin singing sensation J Balvin, Cassidy Pope, Stevie Wonder and a gripping rendition of the US National Anthem sung by Nicole Scherzinger among others.
Over the next seven days at venues across Los Angeles, fans, coaches and families will watch athletes with a variety of intellectual disabilities including cerebral palsy, autism and Down’s Syndrome, competing against one another, as well as alongside non-disabled participants in a series of ‘unified sports’ contests, as the Special Olympics boosts its inclusion agenda.
In a first, Digicel through Digicel SportsMax will carry highlights of the Games each day as well as interesting human interest features.
Digicel as an avid supporter of Special Olympics has contributed significantly in terms of sponsorships and activations across its markets.to support the athletes and their journey to the 2015 World Games. Now that the Games are finally here, the company is delighted that the athletes can have their once in lifetime experiences and realise their dreams.