The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games open on July 25th in Los Angeles. Over 40 Israeli competitors will be among the more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 177 nations to compete in 25 Olympic-type sports this year. It’s a world stage for the athletes to demonstrate their courage, determination, and spirit of sportsmanship on the playing field. We hope you’ll make plans to be a Fan in the Stands on Thursday, July 30th, and join our Federation in creating an atmosphere of excitement as we cheer on competitors in tennis.
Mati Oren, one of the Special Olympics athletes from Israel competing in this year’s World Games, shares his inspiring story:
“My name is Mati Oren and I live on Kibbutz Gingar, Israel. I am 31 years old. I have represented Israel in the Special Olympics for 18 years. I am a swimmer, now in the Open Water. I was a pool swimmer for many years. Swimming is part of who I am!
I have participated in many Special Olympics around the world and have won Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. It is a way of life for me and my family. My family – especially my mother – is very involved and she supports me in every way. I learned to get around on busses and have more self confidence. My kibbutz and work place, a plastics factory, support my training and competitions. They welcome me with banners when I return from the Games!
I represent my country with great pride. Thanks to the Special Olympics, people around the world better understand what special needs people can do.
I became a lifeguard last year and want to keep that up. Finding a special girlfriend is my biggest challenge. I plan to swim forever. My grandfather is 90 and still swims! Going to the LA Games is a dream come true.”
Take your place to cheer in the stands on Thursday, July 30.