World Leaders, United States Presidential Delegation, Sports Greats and Celebrity Guests to Participate in 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China

2007-09-28 18:39 882

World's Largest Sporting Event of the Year Now Days Away

WASHINGTON DC, Sept. 28 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Today Special Olympics announced expected guests of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games, including President George W. Bush's designated U.S. Presidential Delegation, who will attend the Opening Ceremonies on 2 October and will participate in this historic global event. The delegation will join heads of state HE President Olafur R. Grimsson of the Republic of Iceland and HE President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines.

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The U.S. Presidential Delegation will be lead by The Honorable Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education. Additional delegation members include:

-- The Honorable Clark T. Randt, Jr., United States Ambassador to the

People's Republic of China;

-- The Honorable John H. Hager, Former Assistant Secretary of Education

(Special Education and Rehabilitative Services);

-- Mr. Ernie Banks, Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame;

-- Dr. Lynn Fuchs, Professor of Special Education and Human Development,

Vanderbilt University;

-- Ms. Michelle Kwan, Figure Skating Champion and American Public

Diplomacy Envoy;

-- Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Founder, Special Olympics;

-- Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of the Board, Special Olympics

-- Ms. Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President,

Disney-ABC Television Group

-- Mrs. Jennifer Polk Wardlow, International Global Messenger and Special

Olympics North Carolina athlete.

Additional expected guests of the Special Olympics World Summer Games include: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver, Actress and Singer Vanessa Williams, Coca-Cola President & COO Muhtar Kent; Actor and World Games spokesperson Colin Farrell, NBA great Yao Ming, composer and performer Yo Yo Ma; Actress and Special Olympics Global Ambassador Zhang Ziyi, Olympic Gold Medalists Edwin Moses, Bart Conner and Scott Hamilton, social activist Bianca Jagger and Anne Finucane, Bank of America Chief Marketing Officer and President for the Northeast. Also expected are First Ladies from Europe and South America and Ministers from every continent.

Special Olympics World Summer Games

From 2-11 October, Shanghai will welcome nearly 7,500 Special Olympics athletes representing 165 countries to its city when it hosts the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The world's most inspiring athletes will compete in 25 different Olympic-type sports at many of Shanghai's world-renowned venues. The 12th Special Olympics World Summer Games will be the first major multi-sport competition to take place in China with the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics Games following the next summer in Beijing.

"The upcoming Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held in Shanghai will not only be a spectacular event, but a historic one offering the Movement a world stage to showcase the abilities and accomplishments of people with intellectual disabilities, and fostering a new global vision of acceptance," said Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Timothy Shriver.

In addition to competitions, the World Games will feature a series of events aimed at transforming communities and the lives of the 190 million people worldwide with intellectual disabilities by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion. Among the highlights are: a one-day Global Policy Summit on the Health and Well-being of People with Intellectual Disabilities, a Global Youth Summit, a forum for representative young people to interact with their peers across the globe and share ideas for involving youth in the Special Olympics movement; the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes(R) initiative, in which athletes receive free health assessments and services; and a symposium to bring awareness and discussion of issues relevant to people with intellectual disabilities.

Additional information about the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games and competition results are available on the Special Olympics website at .

Special Olympics is an international non-profit 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. Corporate sponsors of Special Olympics include: adidas, Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, DHL, Mattel, Inc. and Mattel Children's Foundation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Find out how you can become involved at .

Source: Special Olympics