SHANGHAI, June 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Special Olympics held a press conference at Shanghai Pudong Special Education School and formally announced Chinese Tennis Player Li Na as a Global Ambassador. The two parties will work together to promote the development of Special Olympics and strive towards creating an "inclusive, equal and respectful" social atmosphere for people with intellectual disabilities.
During the press conference, Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, Shu Hang, CEO and general manager of Special Olympics East Asia (SOEA) with Chen Feifei, athlete leader of SOEA, together awarded Li Na with the official commissioning certificate. "As the Chinese Women's Tennis most iconic figure, Li Na is well recognized by China and the whole world. We are extremely honored to invite Li Na as our Global Ambassador, together with other Special Olympics Global Ambassadors like Yao Ming, and Michael Phelps, promoting long-term continual development of Special Olympics," said Dr. Timothy P. Shriver.
Li Na said: "It is a great honor to be commissioned by Special Olympics as a Global Ambassador. I hope that I can introduce and deliver the unremitting sports spirit to more people with my best efforts nowadays as well as in the future. I truly hope that young people with intellectual disabilities could be encouraged by Special Olympics, to inspire each other, and to appreciate the genuine glamour, motivation and inspiration that sports bring to so many of us. These two groups can build precious friendship through sports and help more people to feel what the real meaning of embracing, fairness and amalgamation is."
As an iconic figure for Chinese tennis players, Li Na has won the Women's Singles Championship in the 2011 French Open and the 2014 Australian Open during her 15-year career. She is not only Asia's first female Grand Slam Singles Champion, but also the first tennis player who broke into the world's top 3 in Asia's history. Although Li Na retired in 2014, she is still very dedicated to the promotion of tennis and is a strong advocate in supporting and inspiring young people. She strives to help young people and those with disabilities, in creating a more inclusive community through physical education, promoting individual exploration, teaching others, and sharing happiness with family, friends, and our society. These are the exact values of Special Olympics.
In addition, Special Olympics athletes from Shanghai Pudong Special Education School, Changning District Shanghai Primary Vocational and Technical School, Shanghai Jingan District Special Education School, Shanghai Pudong District Aixin Kindergarten and amalgamation partners from Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai Foreign Language School, Shanghai Zhongfu Boarding Nursery and Shanghai Dongfang Kindergarten, totaling 103 have took part in several amalgamation sports games including Motor Activity Training Program (MATP), basketball, badminton held at the Shanghai Pudong Special Education School this morning and participated in the Children Athletes' Show. Members of the Senior advisory committee for SOEA including former Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, basketball superstar Yao Ming and Yang Lan, Chairman of Sun Culture Foundation as well as Li Na, all attended the Special Olympics Unified Sports Experience and cheered for the athletes.
This evening, Li Na also attended the annual charity gala dinner of Special Olympics with other Special Olympics athletes. In the charity gala dinner, Li Na donated her favorite Balolat tennis racket with her signature for auction, to raise money for the development of Special Olympics in China.
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About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than 1.4 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and nearly 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year.
Special Olympics East Asia (SOEA) is one of the seven regions of Special Olympics. It works closely with its six accredited Programs, Special Olympics China, Special Olympics Chinese Taipei, Special Olympics Hong Kong, Special Olympics Korea, Special Olympics Macau and Special Olympics Mongolia to promote Special Olympics movement throughout the Region.
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As the official PR agent for Special Olympics East Asia, Burson-Marsteller provides pro bono PR service for this amalgamation sports game and its charity gala dinner.
SOURCE Special Olympics