WED 22ND JULY 2015

A team of over 100 Special Olympics Great Britain athletes with intellectual (learning) disabilities touched down in Los Angeles to represent their country at the World Games on Tuesday evening.

They were then escorted to their beautiful host town and base of Calabasas – the first group of athletes arriving in just the last few minutes, early Wednesday morning LA time.  After being on the go for over 24 hours, the athletes are obviously tired but I can tell you they are incredibly excited to do #TEAMSOGB proud.

Three days of training and cultural activity await, before the athletes head into LA on Friday to their University base camp, ahead of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at the 80,000 sold-out capacity LA Memorial Coliseum and the hosting Obama family.

For many of the athletes it is the first time that they have travelled abroad independently.  For a number, the first time they have been abroad.

One of those athletes travelling abroad with #TEAMSOGB on his own for the first time, was Chris Woodhead from Bradford.  It was a special day for other reasons, too.  Chris was celebrating his 31st birthday.

The Special Olympics GB athletes’ base over the next few days is a fantastic ranch in this glorious part of California, just 25 miles outside Los Angeles.

We are just three days until Opening Ceremony at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in front of 80,000 people on Saturday 25th July.

VIDEO:  Special Olympics’ Unified Sports programme joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.  The principle is that by training together and playing together, it is a quick path to inclusivity, friendship and understanding. Special Olympics GB’s World Games footballer James Parker and Unified Football Partner Mitchell Pressland discuss #TEAMSOGB at LA 2015 and why Unified Football is special to them.