Special Olympics Team USA Meet in Los Angeles Before Heading to Shanghai for the 2007 World Summer Games

2007-09-26 22:38 918

Donation from Bank of America Charitable Foundation Assists with

Special Olympics Team USA’s Preparation for World Games

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 26 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- In less than 24 hours, Special Olympics Team USA’s 550 delegates will be heading to Shanghai, China for the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Special Olympics athletes from all over the United States will gather in Los Angeles today, bringing the team together in preparation for its send off to the World Summer Games from October 2-11. The entire team will depart for China tomorrow.

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Nearly 400 athletes and 150 coaches and managers will represent the United States at the World Games, making Special Olympics Team USA the second largest delegation at the World Games which will feature 7,500 athletes from more than 165 countries, making this the largest sporting event in 2007. In addition, the event will draw 40,000 volunteers, 3,500 event officials and thousands of families, volunteers, spectators and journalists from every continent. Athletes of all ability levels will compete in 25 Olympic-type and demonstration sports. Throughout the week of competition, athletes will display their athletic skill, determination and courage.

“Through hard work, dedication and commitment, Special Olympics Team USA athletes have become some of the most inspiring competitors in the world,” said Special Olympics North America Managing Director Bob Gobrecht.

“Competing in the World Games is a chance of a lifetime for many of our athletes, but also a chance for the rest of the world to witness the accomplishments and victories of people with intellectual disabilities. We are grateful to Bank of America for sharing our vision that through sport, we can help build a world full of joy, respect and acceptance.”

As a premier sponsor, Bank of America is supporting Special Olympics Team USA’s preparation for the World Games in Shanghai through a $500,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Bank of America employees also volunteered at Team USA send-off events across the country, including serving as greeters for the athletes both at the team’s training camp in Nashville and today in Los Angeles.

“Bank of America is proud to support Special Olympics Team USA, helping to ensure the athletes have the opportunity to compete in the first World Summer Games in China,” said Andrew Plepler, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “This event is a tremendous forum for Special Olympics Team USA athletes to demonstrate their ability and determination while learning from and being inspired by other competitors from around the world.”

Fans of Special Olympics athletes will have an opportunity to track their favorite athlete’s progress at the World Summer Games. Results will be available on the Special Olympics website at .

Other Special Olympics Team USA sponsors include Columbia Sportswear, FedEx and Midwest Trophy Manufacturing Company. The American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO will present Team USA with a pre send-off dinner celebration.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition to 2.5 million adults and children with intellectual disabilities across 165 countries. The Special Olympics movement offers one of the world’s greatest platforms for acceptance and inclusion for all people-regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or cultural differences. Find out how you can become involved at .

About Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy

Bank of America has embarked on an unprecedented 10-year goal to give $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the quality and vitality of their neighborhoods. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give more than $200 million in 2007, making the bank one of the most generous corporate donors in the world. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called “neighborhood excellence” under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contribute more than 500,000 hours each year to improve the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit .

For more information, please contact:

Shavonne Harding

Special Olympics Inc.

Tel: +1-202-824-0201


Colleen Haggerty

Bank of America

Tel: +1-213-621-7414


Source: Special Olympics Inc.