** Media Advisory ** The Arts Meet Sports: Murals Designed by Special Olympics Athletes Debut Across Seattle

Murals on display through June 27 at Seattle Center, Sea-Tac International Airport, Woodland Park Zoo and Westlake Park

SEATTLE – To celebrate the countdown to the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, five 26-foot-long murals designed by Special Olympics athletes will be displayed throughout Seattle. A total of six murals were designed and created under the guidance of Seattle-based artist Catherine Mayer. Inspired by Pacific Northwest themes and iconic Seattle locations, each mural features individual works of art created by the athletes that Mayer then collaged into large-scale art pieces.

For a limited time, the five murals will be displayed in key locations across Seattle, giving the community the opportunity to enjoy the murals before they are displayed at the USA Games. A sixth mural was displayed earlier in June at Bellevue Square.

Holland America Line is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 USA Games Art Murals.

When: Murals will be on display from Friday, June 22, through Wednesday, June 27

Where: Seattle Center Armory

Sea-Tac International Airport in Concourse A

South Lake Union inside 306 Dexter Avenue North (viewable from outside)

Woodland Park Zoo, South Entrance

Westlake Park

Photos of the murals on display at the various locations are available at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ea0n2efd87dxv6b/AACTzDWPQdU8NOv0pQkmqp5da?dl=0

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Media Contact

Jaymelina Esmele, 2018 Special Olympics USA Games


(206) 788-8964


#ImAGameChanger - Phillip Stevens

by: USA Games Correspondent, tynan gable

The most basic rule of being a Game Changer is simple; make it a priority to promote inclusion in all that you do. Phillip Stevens, better known as “Phil,” is this week’s nominee for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games #ImAGameChanger campaign, and he consistently exemplifies the aims of Special Olympics in his everyday life.

Phil is the owner of Strength Guild Topeka, a weightlifting gym located in Topeka, Kansas. He trains teams of athletes who compete in regional weightlifting competitions as well as more unique events, such as the Highland Games. Several national champions and Topeka-area sports teams have benefitted from Phil’s expertise over the years.

In addition to the high-level athletes Phil trains, there are now also seven powerlifting athletes from the Topeka Shawnee Program of Special Olympics Kansas who work out with Phil, free of charge, multiple times per week. James Turner is the father of one such athlete, Rodnel Turner, who has experienced tremendous improvements in his maximum lifts and overall health and strength as a result of training with Phil for the past year.

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#ImAGameChanger - Kathy Gilmore

By: USA Games Correspondent, Tynan Gable

There is no shortage of passion when it comes to the work of a Game Changer. Kathy Gilmore, this week’s nominee for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games #ImAGameChanger campaign, demonstrates an endless desire to inspire and create change for a more inclusive community for people with intellectual disabilities.

Kathy is a triathlon competitor and fanatic from the Florida Keys. About two years ago, she made it her personal mission to involve Special Olympics athletes in her favorite sport and sought out athletes competing in the local Special Olympics Program of Monroe County.

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Charlie Puth, Marshmello, Taye Diggs Added to Lineup for 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Opening Ceremony in Seattle on Sunday, July 1

Speakers at Opening Ceremony include Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft President Brad Smith, and Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver

Opening Ceremony to be televised live on ABC at 12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET.

SEATTLEJune 7, 2018 – The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games announced today additional performers and speakers for the Opening Ceremony which will take place at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium on Sunday, July 1. More than 4,000 Special Olympics athletes and coaches from across the nation, along with tens of thousands of family members, volunteers and spectators, will gather across Greater Seattle for a week of events and competitions in 14 team and individual sports.

New performers announced today are:

  • Multi-GRAMMY nominated singer, songwriter and producer Charlie Puth – whose multi-platinum hits include “See You Again,” “One Call Away,” and most recently, “Attention” from his just-released, Gold certified second album Voicenotes – will headline the Opening Ceremony.
  • World renowned DJ and producer Marshmello – who’s garnered more than two billion streams across Spotify alone with more than 40 million monthly listeners, making him the fifth most listened to artist in the world – will perform a set.
  • Actor, singer and author Taye Diggs, star of stage, television and film, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Puth, Marshmello and Diggs join previously announced Opening Ceremony performers Seattle hip hop crew Massive Monkees; Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Ann Wilson of Heart; and singer-songwriter Allen Stone, whose set will include a performance with the USA Games choir.

The 2018 USA Games also announced today the dignitaries scheduled to speak at the Opening Ceremony:

  • Washington Governor Jay Inslee
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
  • Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Honorary Chairman of the 2018 USA Games
  • Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International

“The Opening Ceremony is going to be the hottest ticket of the summer and we’re excited to have the community join in welcoming our athletes and coaches to the Pacific Northwest,” said Jayme Powers, Executive Producer and COO for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. “Unquestionably, spectators will be entertained and moved at the Opening Ceremony, but more importantly, we want them to be inspired to carry the Special Olympics message of inclusion out to their communities.”

In addition to a star-studded line up of entertainment, musical performances and speakers, the Opening Ceremony will feature ceremonial elements such as the Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron. The event will inspire the nation to celebrate the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities and put the spotlight on the positive impact of a more inclusive world for all.

ESPN, the official media partner of the 2018 USA Games, will telecast the Opening Ceremony live on ABC beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET. ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi will serve as host.

For more information on the 2018 USA Games and to purchase tickets for the Opening Ceremony, visit SpecialOlympicsUSAGames.org.

Microsoft is the Presenting Partner of the Opening Ceremony and the Premier Partner of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.

About the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 participants representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2018 USA Games will also highlight Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building.

For more information on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, please visit SpecialOlympicsUSAGames.org and follow on Facebook (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames), Twitter (@2018USAGames) and Instagram (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames).

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Media Contact

Jaymelina Esmele, 2018 Special Olympics USA Games


(206) 788-8964