-- ABC anchor Robin Roberts hosts an inspiring one hour special in anticipation of the largest sporting and humanitarian event of the year – the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The World Games will see 6500 athletes from more than 165 countries travel to Los Angeles to compete and celebrate the power of sport to promote acceptance and inclusion. With her love of sports, Robin tees up the Games with moving stories of unbridled passion, perseverance, and purpose, highlighting the most inspiring athletes and those who motivate others to work harder and aim higher. Robin also calls upon Special Olympics Ambassador Brooklyn Decker who introduces us to her aunt, a Special Olympics athlete.
Throughout the special Robin takes viewers into the lives of the remarkable athletes and introduces the coaches, volunteers, referees and those who support them. From Terrel Limerick, the first intellectually disabled (ID) American to qualify at one of the highest levels in sailing to Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver who shares how his mother Eunice’s driving passion for the organization has been kept alive “Countdown to the Special Olympics World Games” captures the essence of the human spirit and perseverance.
One of the most moving stories in the hour features Kristine Hughes, one of the first ID volleyball referees and an officiator at this year’s games. A former foster child, Kristine was unable to see her birth records and was unaware of her disability. She struggled in school and spent years homeless and lost. Only after finally understanding her past was she able to get the help she needed and change her future.
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“Countdown to the 2015 Special Olympics with Robin Roberts” is produced by Rock’n Robin Productions. John R. Green is the Executive Producer and John Palacio is the Senior Producer. It is part of ESPN’s 2015 Special Olympics World Games coverage lineup and debuts Thursday, July 23 at 9 p.m. on ESPN. It will also air on Saturday, July 25 at 2:30 p.m on ABC and 8 p.m. on ESPN. That will be followed by ESPN's live, three-hour coverage of the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony (9 p.m.) and will be preceded by ESPN Films’ new 30 for 30 Short, “Brave in the Attempt” (7:30 p.m.).