The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games opening ceremony will take place today at 5.00pm local time (1.00am Irish Time) in Los Angeles, California.
The Opening Ceremony will be held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with over 500,000 spectators expected tonight to support their teams as they take to the stadium. 6,500 athletes will compete in the many events which will take place between the 25th of July and the 2nd of August.
Headlining acts of the Opening Ceremony include Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne and Nicole Scherzinger; while special appearances will be made by First Lady Michelle Obama alongside comedian Jimmy Kimmel and Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps among others.
Team Ireland have 88 athletes competing in 13 different sports including athletics, aquatics, basketball, football and equestrian. They are accompanied by their team of 40 coaches and 154 volunteers and have been staying in their host town of Downey, California since the 22nd of July to prepare for the games.
Team Ireland will be led into the stadium by actor Colin Farrell, model Claudine Keane and Irish Olympic medallist John Treacy.
President Obama, stated in his welcome message to the Olympians that “The athletes that come into these Games represent the grit and determination that’s at the very root of the American spirit. They keep working when the challenges seem greatest. They see opportunity where some see limitations”.
For more Information on the Opening Ceremony visit the official 2015 website for the Special Olympics at; http://www.la2015.org/