When thousands of athletes, their families, and fans gather in Orlando this June for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, they’ll be treated to the most magical Opening Ceremony ever, thanks to Disney Live Entertainment.
The announcement was made by Special Olympics, Experience Kissimmee, Osceola County, and Walt Disney World during the Special Olympics USA Games’ Heads of Delegation Conference on Tuesday, held at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The complex will serve as one of several sites for this year’s Special Olympics games, which will be held from June 5 to June 12.
Joe Dzaluk, President and CEO of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games says that the exciting announcement is in keeping with the Games’ commitment to the athletes and to them having an amazing experience.
“Hosting the USA Games’ Heads of Delegation Conference and being able to announce that Disney Live Entertainment will be producing the Opening Ceremony represents the USA Games’ commitment to ensuring all attending athletes have a life-changing experience when they come down in June,” Dzaluk said.
Though the announcement was just made on Tuesday, Disney’s involvement in the 2022 USA Games is actually part of a two-year effort between Disney Live Entertainment and the Special Olympics games in preparation for this year’s event that looks to be the biggest Special Olympics USA Games ever.
Approximately 60 delegates from almost all of the 50 states, as well as from 11 Caribbean nations, were in attendance for Tuesday’s announcement. This year’s games will host more than 5,000 athletes competing in 19 different sports, making it the largest USA Games to date.
“It’s really exciting to host these special Olympians, and with each event, we’ll see the spirit of the games on display as each individual athlete finds their potential,” said Osceola County Commissioner for District 2. “The spirit of this event is something that will touch many hearts in coming days, and I’m so proud that Osceola County is a host to all these memories in the making.”
Jason Robinson with Disney Live Entertainment says they are looking forward to celebrating with the athletes who come to Florida to compete.
“We’re just excited that the games are around the corner and we’ll actually get a chance to celebrate the athletes,” said Jason Robinson with Disney Live Entertainment.
Disney’s involvement with this year’s Special Olympics honors the athletes, and it also honors the memory of Walt Disney who, in 1960, produced the Opening Ceremony for the 1960 Winter Olympic Games held in Squaw Valley, California.
The Opening Ceremony was held on February 18, 1960, and Walt’s influence would forever change the pageantry of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies.