June 13, 2022
The 2022 Special Olympics US Games kicked off in Orlando, Florida this past weekend and the World-Famous Harlem Globetrotters took part in the momentous celebration with over 5,500 athletes from across the US.
Following the Opening Ceremony, marking the official start of the games, athletes were surprised with an electric performance by Harlem Globetrotters players; Latif ‘Jet’ Rivers, Cherrelle ‘Torch’ George, Rock ‘Wham’ Middleton, and Donte ‘Hammer’ Harrison. From the legendary magic circle to interactive shooting relays, competing athletes shined bright while being immersed into the exclusive game experience.
“This is one of the best experiences that I have had”, said Rivers “the opportunity to be around these athletes and all of the talent here is incredible. I love the energy”.
However, the excitement didn’t end there. Players spent the next two days greeting athletes, joining athletes in friendly competitions, and most importantly delivering encouraging messages to athletes as they went for gold.
From June 5-12, 2022, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games unite thousands of athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean with 125,000 spectators during one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. We all have reasons to shine. For Special Olympics athletes, one of those reasons is the love of sport. Special Olympics athletes display remarkable abilities not only on the field but in all areas of life. By celebrating their dedication and perseverance, we become champions for a more inclusive world. A world where we all Shine As One.
“For our athletes, this means everything. Most of our athletes have never been to a Harlem Globetrotter show and for them to be able to experience a show and spend time with the players means everything,” said John Robles, Director of Community Engagement for Special Olympics Florida, “You might not think so, but you’re changing lives.”
Historically, the Harlem Globetrotters have toured the world as global ambassadors of goodwill. The team is committed more than ever to bringing their voice to social justice conversations while inviting communities all over the U.S. to come together; recognizing the power of our commonalities and celebrating our differences. The Harlem Globetrotters remain dedicated to amplifying local heroes of social justice, while lending their efforts and influence to the call for change.