The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games are coming to Los Angeles,
and the city of Claremont is helping to make it happen.
The Games will take place from July 25 to Aug. 2, bringing participants and fans from 177 countries
to L.A. to participate in sports competitions, celebrate humanitarian work and enjoy the sun and fun.
The Special Olympics are held every four years and provide a competitive arena for people with intellectual disabilities to compete. Intellectual disability, according to the organization’s website, “is a term used when a person has certain limitations in cognitive functioning and skills, including communication, social and self-care skills.” This year, over 7,000 athletes will be competing in a variety of sports from swimming to judo, totaling up to 25 Olympic sports.
According to its website, the
Games “will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world
in 2015.” It will also be the biggest sporting event held in L.A. since the 1984 Summer Olympics.
To prepare for the event, it has been necessary that L.A. find places to host the athletes and trainers, and cities in the surrounding L.A. area have volunteered to help. This summer, over 100 cities will be hosting the Games’ participants from around the world.
Claremont will be playing host for up to 100 athletes and support staff as they acclimate to Southern California. Colin Tudor, assistant city manager of Claremont, said that the athletes would stay in Claremont in the days before the Games, adjusting to the time difference and interacting with the people involved in making the games happen.
Marylou Ferry, vice president
and chief communications officer at Pomona College, wrote in an email to TSL that
the college will work with the city to host these athletes by providing them with room
and board. The athletes will be coming from Georgia, Bolivia,
Curaçao and Latvia and will be staying on campus for three days before the Games
begin July 23.
“We worked with the City of
Claremont to help bring a package together [where] we offered free rooms and
breakfast,” Ferry wrote. “I hope we will also have some additional volunteer opportunities.”
Kristen Laufenberg, director of residence life and summer programs at Pitzer College, said in an email to TSL that Pitzer will also be
hosting athletes in 25 of its doubles that it has volunteered for the cause. The
athletes will be staying eating their meals at the Pomona and Pitzer dining
halls and using Claremont-Mudd-Scripps athletic facilities to prepare for the Games.
After their stay in Claremont, the
athletes will head to L.A. for the commencement of the 2015 Games.