group of happy people

Chapman University, City of Orange team up as Host Town for Special Olympics

Chapman and City of Orange get ready to put out the welcome mat for Special Olympics.

Officials from Chapman University, the City of Orange, Special Olympics and even Pete the Panther cheered and raised their arms in a victory pose Thursday to welcome the formal announcement that Orange will be a Host Town for the
Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles

man and pete the panther smiling

Pete the Panther joins David Armendariz (M.A. ’03), Orange County regional director for Special Olympics, in cheering on the news that Chapman University and the City of Orange will team up as a Host Town during the World Games.

As one of several Host Towns during the July 2015 Games, the city and Chapman University will help entertain and lodge some of the 7,000 international athletes who will compete in events ranging from track and field to tennis.

Lend a hand

“I ask you to take advantage of this incredible volunteering opportunity you will have,” Chancellor Daniele Struppa said at the announcement ceremony held in Attallah Piazza. “And we will all work together to make this the best Special Olympics ever.”

Athletes will be housed in Chapman’s residence halls during the Games, use athletic facilities for training and enjoy outings and activities around the City of Orange. In Special Olympics tradition, the organization seeks the involvement of community volunteers to help bring it all together.

David Armendariz (M.A. ’03), Orange County regional director for Special Olympics, promised that such experiences will be unforgettable.

‘Joy in your life’

“If you are looking for more joy in your life and if you’re looking to do something meaningful and special in your life, the World Games have a place for you,” Armendariz said.

people smiling

City of Orange Mayor Tita Smith presents a key to the city and a gift box of oranges to Special Olympics athlete and Global Messenger Joseph Goren during Thursday’s announcement ceremony at Chapman University.

Among the other speakers at the announcement were
Joseph Goren
, a Special Olympics athlete and Global Messenger from Laguna Hills, Calif. Goren described how his experiences in Special Olympics have taught him teamwork, discipline and responsibility while building his self-confidence.

“It made me the person I am today,” he said.

The biennial World Games are the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement, founded in 1968 by
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
. This summer 7,000 athletes from more than 177 countries are expected to compete. Competitions will be held in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas, but athletes will be housed in Host Towns throughout Southern California.

Did You Know?

Graduate students in the College of Educational Studies have long served as part of the Healthy Hearing team within Healthy Athletes, under the guidance of Judith Montgomery, Ph.D., professor and program director of the CSD program.


Dawn Bonker

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