TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At a ceremony held at the New Jersey Statehouse, Governor Chris Christie was named Honorary Chair of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games, which will be held in New Jersey, June 14-21. Governor Christie's nomination as Honorary Chair and the formal request to accept were presented by Special Olympics athletes and 2014 USA Games Board Members Loretta Claiborne and Bobby Fredericks, as part of the Special Olympics New Jersey Athlete Congress.
"The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games are a point of pride for New Jersey and I am pleased to serve as the Honorary Chair for next year's Games," said Governor Christie. "I speak for all New Jerseyans by welcoming these incredible athletes, supporters and spectators to showcase the best of the human spirit in our state."
Nearly 3,500 athletes will travel to New Jersey June 14-21 for the 2014 USA Games to compete in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and an anticipated 70,000 spectators. Sports competitions will be held throughout Mercer County including at Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Park and several area private schools. In addition to the many showcased sports, Special Olympics athletes will participate in extraordinary special events including an Opening Ceremony at Prudential Center, Closing Ceremony at Sun National Bank Center, board-walk themed Olympic Town, Unified Sports® Festival and much more. The 2014 USA Games will be the most inclusive sports competition in the history of Special Olympics' USA Games and will showcase the talents of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
"Governor Christie's commitment to the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games has been unwavering since New Jersey was awarded the bid to host the Games," said TJ Nelligan, Chairman & CEO of the 2014 USA Games. "We are extremely grateful for all Governor Christie has done to embrace the 2014 USA Games, including creating a state task force to assist with supporting one of the most inspirational events to ever come to New Jersey. There is no greater ambassador of the state of New Jersey than Governor Christie and we are privileged to have him serve as the Honorary Chair of the 2014 USA Games to welcome athletes and families from across the nation to this celebration of inclusion and acceptance."
Also in attendance of the announcement were New Jersey Senator Stephen Sweeney, Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver, Special Olympics North America President Bob Gobrecht, and Special Olympics New Jersey President Marc Edenzon.
Edenzon commented, "As the host program for the 2014 USA Games, we believe the support of Governor Christie, combined with the increased awareness about Special Olympics that the Games will generate, will lead to even more opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities in schools and agencies throughout New Jersey."
The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games also celebrated its 214 Days Out milestone recently with the announcement of 21st Century Fox as its newest Founding Partner. 21st Century Fox will serve as the Official Presenting Media Sponsor, providing exposure about the 2014 USA Games across its U.S. channels, including Fox Sports 1, which will air a one-hour recap special being produced by fellow 2014 USA Games Founding Partner WWE.
About the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games
The Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted by New Jersey June 14-21, 2014. Nearly 3,500 athletes will compete in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 family, friends and spectators. The Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement, 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. Founding partners for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games include 21st Century Fox, Barnabas Health, HESS, KPMG, PSE&G, ShopRite, Toys"R"Us and WWE. Learn more about the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games at www.2014specialolympics.org and follow the Games on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsUSAGames and Twitter @2014USAGames.
2014 USA Games Contact: Rachel Gary, 609.647.0751 / RDG@2014SpecialOlympics.org
Governor's Office Contact: Mike Drewniak / Colin Reed, 609-777-2600