Every athlete deserves a great cheering section! This weekend marks the Summer Games Invitational event for the Special Olympics June 6-8 at the USC Campus. The event is free and open to the public and more than 3,000 volunteers and 10,000 local dignitaries, sponsors and spectators are expected to attend. There are plenty of great competitions to attend. Over 1,200 athletes will compete in aquatics, track and field, golf, basketball, gymnastics, and more.
The fun begins with Opening Ceremony: Friday – 10am at Loker Stadium. You can support the cause at the Breakfast with the Champions Fundraiser Saturday morning. Competitions take place all weekend. It all winds up with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday. The Special Olympics Festival features games, live entertainment, community and law enforcement exhibits, and more.
Special Olympics Southern California offers year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 17,000 athletes in 11 Southern California counties train and compete in 12 Olympic-type summer and fall sports. This year’s event is a prelude to next year’s 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games which will also take place in L.A. and will feature 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators. The e 2015 Special Olympics World Games – being staged in Los Angeles July 25 – August 2, 2015 – will be the largest sports-and-humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.
Southern California has a special interest in this year’s Belmont Stakes in New York on Saturday, June 7. That’s because our local favorite California Chrome will attempt to become only the twelfth Triple Crown winner in American racing history. This is big news especially since there has not been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Plenty of other horses have won the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby and then failed to win the Belmont Stakes but he does happen to have the whole state cheering for him and he happens to be on a six-race winning streak. If you can’t be at the track in New York, the place to be to watch his great attempt is Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia which is planning several special events to celebrate the day.
You can join pop-punk pioneers New Found Glory for a microbrew festival and celebration of Belmont Stakes Day. Take in the concert while enjoying the many microbrews in the beer garden. Then place your bets as the third and final leg of the U.S. Triple Crown comes to you live from New York. Admission starts at $15.
A more sophisticated event is happening in the Chandelier Room at the race track, where the California Grub, Grapes and Grain is taking place. This special tasting event features chef Christian Page with chefs formerly of Osteria Mozza for $150 per person.
Belmont Stakes Day is also the day for ‘Santa Anita Uncorked’ a wine tasting event hosted in Santa Anita’s trackside Club Court enclosure, on the east end of the Grandstand beginning at 12 noon. The event will begin at 12 noon and will feature a wide array of boutique and hand-picked wine selections, cuisine sampling from 25 popular local restaurants, an art exhibit and a tremendous day of racing that will include the Belmont and several other graded stakes from New York along with an outstanding 11-race card at Santa Anita. Tickets are $60 each and include a souvenir wine glass, racing program, wine tasting, and cuisine sampling.
The Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games has been hard at work on a comprehensive plan to bid for Los Angeles to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games. Seven cities in the U.S. (L.A., Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington DC) are in the running. The United States hasn’t hosted the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.
The plan calls for a cluster of events to be held in downtown Los Angeles with additional events at three satellite hubs: Westside, Avalon, and Harbor. The Olympic Park would include an updated Los Angeles Coliseum that would hold 80,000 spectators. A 20,000-seat soccer stadium on the site would be used as a temporary aquatics venue. The plan also includes an expansion LA Metro rail system in order to deliver on a promise of having the bulk of spectators use public transit. To keep track of the plan’s progress visit:http://www.sccog.org/