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Goleta Selected as Host Town for Special Olympics World Games 2015

The City of Goleta announced Wednesday that the community has been officially selected to participate in the Special Olympics World Games Host Town program from July 21-24.

Before the Special Olympics World Games begin on July 25, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through the Host Town program. As many as 100 communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego will have the honor of being selected as an official Host Town.

“We are thrilled to see so many communities eager to participate in this integral component of the World Games,” said Patrick McClenahan, president and chief executive officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. “The Host Town program will not only create lasting memories for these athletes and coaches from around the world, but leave a lasting legacy for the communities who are opening their doors, hearts and minds to host these inspiring athletes."

As a Host Town, Goleta will play host to three delegations (which include Special Olympics athletes and coaches) from Bhutan, Panama and Qatar. The delegations will spend July 21-24 in and around Goleta as they become acclimated to the time zone, enjoy activities that Goleta has to offer and prepare to compete at the World Games.

“We are excited to be able to participate in the World Games Host Town program and meet these inspiring athletes,” Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said. “It’s a great opportunity to treat athletes from around the world to our slice of heaven.”

The Host Town program has been an important element of Special Olympics World Games since 1995, and the experience has left a lasting impression on the local communities in Ireland, Japan, China, Greece, South Korea and the United States, all of which have previously organized Host Town programs as part of the Special Olympics World Games.

LA2015 is actively identifying potential Host Town candidates to be considered for the program. Communities are evaluated on the availability of lodging accommodations, sports practice facilities and recreation/entertainment offerings for the athletes, among other criteria. Host Towns are also responsible for planning activities for the athletes to introduce them to the community and help spread the word about the Games.

Goleta joins the growing list of Host Towns, which includes Alhambra, Anaheim, Arcadia, Azusa, Beverly Hills, Big Bear Lake, Burbank, Calabasas, Camarillo, Carson, Chatsworth, Chino Valley, Claremont, Corona, Costa Mesa, Downey, Duarte, El Segundo, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Glendale, Glendora, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Inglewood, Irvine, La Habra, La Mirada, La Verne, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Lincoln Heights, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Mission Viejo, Monterey Park, Mountain Communities of Lake Arrowhead, Newport Beach, Northridge, Ontario, Orange, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Pasadena, Poway, Reseda, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, San Diego Downtown, San Diego East County, San Diego North County, San Diego South County, San Luis Obispo County, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Valley, Solvang, South Pasadena, Studio City, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, West Covina, West Los Angeles, Whittier, Winnetka and Woodland Hills. More Host Town selections will be announced in the coming weeks.

Communities interested in serving as Host Towns can learn more by visiting the World Games website by clicking here.

— Valerie Kushnerov is a public information officer for the City of Goleta.


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