LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The one-year countdown has officially begun for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games! One year from now, more than 3,500 Special Olympics athletes from throughout the United States will travel to New Jersey to compete in 16 sports, before tens of thousands of spectators and volunteers.
The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement while promoting the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport and highlighting the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities. At a 2011 press conference announcing the Garden State had been awarded the 2014 USA Games, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie remarked, "these Games will place a spotlight on what makes New Jersey the greatest...the strength of the human spirit."
"These Games will be the largest, most dynamic, and most innovative national Games in the history of Special Olympics in the United States," said Bob Gobrecht, President and Managing Director of Special Olympics North America. "Whatever stereotypes people may have about Special Olympics will be shattered in New Jersey in 2014. When we say 'America's Champions Will Be Revealed' it's not just about showcasing our athletes' abilities, it's about highlighting the facets of Special Olympics most people don't know about, like our work in education, health and community building." Gobrecht added, "I encourage everyone to experience the 2014 USA Games firsthand – whether you're a volunteer, family member, or spectator – it will change your life."
Sports competition will be held at venues throughout Mercer County, New Jersey, including Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Park and several area private schools. In addition to the many showcased sports, Special Olympics athletes will participate in spectacular Special Events including an Opening Ceremony at Prudential Center, Closing Ceremony at Sun National Bank Center, a board-walk themed Olympic Town, a Special Olympics Unified Sports® Festival, and much more.
There will be ample opportunities for New Jersey residents and supporters nationwide to show their spirit and join the team through volunteerism, donations and attendance. For more information about becoming a volunteer, making a donation, or attending an event, please visit the 2014 Games website at www.2014specialolympics.org.
- Volunteer – The Games Organizing Committee is in the process of recruiting over 10,000 volunteers to assist with the planning and implementation of the operations of the Games. Registration for general volunteer opportunities for the 2014 USA Games will begin on Monday, September 16, 2013. In addition, Spirit Teams are being created and will be disseminated to various entry points so that the Special Olympics athletes from around the country will receive a warm New Jersey welcome upon arrival.
- $2014 for 2014 Campaign – Pledge to raise $2014 by 2014. By becoming a member of the $2014 for 2014 Team, supporters will receive access to hospitality tents, reserved Opening Ceremony seating at Prudential Center, name listed in the Games program and official commemorative 2014 USA Games gear.
- Fans in the Stands – Attend any or all of the sports competitions, which are free and open to the public.
"The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games would not be possible without the support of both national and New Jersey-based companies, especially our Founding Partners Barnabas Health, HESS, PSE&G, Shop Rite, Toys"R"Us and WWE," said TJ Nelligan, Chairman & CEO of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. "All of these companies are committed to using their resources to promote the transformative power of sports to educate and inform others about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities."
About the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games
The Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted by New Jersey June 14-21, 2014. Nearly 3,500 athletes will compete in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 family, friends and spectators. The Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2014 USA Games will also highlight Special Olympics' work in sport, education, health and communities. Founding partners for the 2014 Special Olympic USA Games include Barnabas Health, HESS, PSE&G, Shop Rite, Toys"R"Us and WWE. Learn more about the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games at www.2014specialolympics.org and follow the Games on Facebook at Facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsUSAGames and Twitter @2014USAGames.
2014 Special Olympics USA Games
SOURCE 2014 Special Olympics USA Games