ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2021) — Today, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, presented by Jersey Mike’s Subs, announced new highlights for the USA Games, including the announcement of Exploria Stadium as the host for the Opening Ceremony. The Opening Ceremony for the USA Games, which will be held in Orlando from June 5-12, 2022, will be broadcasted via the ESPN and ABC family of networks.
“We are so excited to be able to partner with such an important and impactful organization in the Special Olympics,” Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão said. “We are honored that our home, Exploria Stadium, has been chosen to host the 2022 USA Games Opening Ceremony and bring the start of these games, not only to the City of Orlando, but to those participating and those watching all around the world. We can think of no better place to kick off an event that will showcase some of the best athletes in the United States. Our organizations have been working together for a while, building toward today’s announcement, and I’m confident our work leading into next year will make 2022 the biggest and best Opening Ceremony to date.”
“Our entire community is thrilled to be hosting the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Together we have been working to make Orlando a world-class city that is committed to compassion, kindness and inclusion, and a place that has wonderful amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy. Those amenities include one of the best soccer facilities on the planet, Exploria Stadium,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said during Wednesday’s virtual announcement. “In 2022, Exploria Stadium will allow our community to welcome some of our nation’s most inspiring athletes to Orlando.”
During Wednesday’s 30-minute virtual event (watch here) which streamed on Facebook and YouTube, USA Games CEO and President Joe Dzaluk outlined additional big news around Florida’s largest-ever humanitarian event. The City Beautiful will welcome 5,500 athletes, coaches and officials from across the United States and, for the first time, 15 additional countries from North America and South America, as well as 125,000 family and friends, and 10,000 volunteers for the 2022 USA Games.
“We’ve always said that this will be big, and now with amazing support from Ambassadors and partners, we’re able to start celebrating how big this will be,” Dzaluk said. “We are 18-months away from the Games, and now more than ever, we’re looking forward to putting the spotlight on our amazing athletes, spreading the message of inclusion and inspiring a new generation of Special Olympics supporters.”
In addition to the venue announcement, new celebrity Ambassadors were introduced, including Orlando City legend and former captain, Kaká, who will join current Orlando Pride and U.S. Women’s National Team defender Ali Krieger as an Ambassador for the 2022 USA Games. The other new Ambassadors include Matthew McConaughey, Tyra Banks, Annika Sörenstam (full list).