A picture is worth a thousand words… pictures and video of the scene yesterday as 7,000 Special Olympics World Games athletes arrived in America, landing at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and then to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) to be processed as World Games Athletes! Each team arrived dressed in travel uniform with bright colors and country names proudly displayed; the airport was a site to be seen as bold colors in groups were scattered throughout the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
At the LMU processing center, the atmosphere was frenetic, joy abounded with dancing, singing, and hugging, despite long delays getting out of LAX. Athletes arrived at the bucolic LMU campus to a red carpet, as other athletes and volunteers cheered them as they walked the carpet into the processing center. The smiles were huge on the faces of the tired athletes who had travelled, some for over 24 hours, to Los Angeles to participate as elite World Games Athletes.
Once the athlete delegations were processed, under National Guard escort, the country teams boarded buses to Host Towns across Southern California to experience the SoCal life for two weeks.
As a Host Town volunteer, I want to personally welcome each and every athlete and their coaches to the United States of America! We are delighted to host you in our country and watch you shine in competition. Reach up LA! Reach up World! Welcome.