To honor the athletes, Jason Mraz will be planning a special performance which will be a powerful unification of Special Olympics youth/athletes and the groundbreaking new music and arts education program that is supported by the Jason Mraz Foundation, called LIVE ART. Children from a local Schladming music program will also participate in the performance. Mraz will perform his record-setting song, « I’m Yours, » as well as his hit song « I Won’t Give Up » – which he will perform alongside VanderWaal, LIVE ART participants and the local Schladming choir. « I’m incredibly honored to be asked to perform during the Opening Ceremony, celebrating the courage, determination and spirit of every Special Olympics athlete who traveled to compete in these Games, » said Jason Mraz. « Special Olympics is an organization that I feel embraces the skills and talents of every person and I do the same thing through my work with LIVE ART. »
LIVE ART is an equally inclusive program for both students with and without disabilities, of all ages, who work together for a year using performing arts to share messages of acceptance, compassion and empathy. Mraz works as an artistic advisor and funder alongside LIVE ART Director Erin Thomas-Foley, creating an inspiring culminating performance each year featuring nationally recognized recording artists performing with the students. The program is produced by SPARC, The School of the Performing Arts in Richmond, Virginia where Jason studied as a child. www.sparconline.org/liveart
Princess Charlene of Monaco, Special Olympics Global Ambassador and Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Teter, American short track speed skating Olympic champion Apolo Ohno, Hall of Famer and Special Olympics Global Ambassador and Board Member Dikembe Mutombo, Olympic figure-skating legend and Special Olympics International Board Member Michelle Kwan and NBA Legend and Special Olympics
International Board Member Sam Perkins, and other distinguished personalities will cheer on the athletes at the Planai. A global audience can watch coverage provided by ESPN, an official broadcast partner of the World Games. ESPN is distributing the Opening Ceremony around the world in multiple languages. Tickets to the Opening Ceremony and this once-in-a-lifetime experience are available for purchase via www.oeticket.com.
More than 20,000 fans including families, volunteers, Heads of State, Ministers of Sport, and celebrities including trainer and television personality Jillian Michaels and ballroom dance champion, professional dancer and choreographer Louie Van Amstel will attend the Games and cheer on the athletes over the eight days of competition.