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Special Olympics: Michelle Obama opens Games in Los Angeles

Special Olympics: Michelle Obama opens Games in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES .Michelle Obama welcomed thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities to the Special Olympic World Games on Saturday during a festive opening ceremony filled with cheers, songs and praise for their courage and determination.

"My husband and I, we are so proud of you, so incredibly proud of you, and we love you all from the bottom of our hearts," the first lady said. She said the athletes were an example to the millions of people watching the event on television.

She was introduced by Special Olympian Tim Harris, who owns a restaurant in New Mexico that he said serves "breakfast, lunch and hugs!"

Mrs. Obama "knows the power of a hug," he said, and shared one with the first lady.

Earlier, President Barack Obama welcomed the athletes by video.

About 6,500 athletes from 165 countries streamed into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to cheers and roars. The athletes will participate in 25 sports over nine days, ranging from weightlifting to the triathlon.

L.A. also hosted the Special Olympics in 1972.

Applause greeted the athletes, from some 400 in the United States contingent to a handful each from smaller countries.

It was the largest gathering of athletes in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Olympics.

The groups wore distinctive colors but carried no national flags. However, Special Olympics athletes and Olympic gold medalists including swimmer Michael Phelps, diver Greg Louganis and skater Michelle Kwan together carried in the Special Olympics flag.

Posted on 2015-07-26 19:52:59
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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