Dick Van Kirk (BS '58) Elected to Leadership Role at Special Olympics

Dick Van Kirk has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Games Organizing Committee for the 2015 Special Olympics Summer World Games.

No other organized event in the world has the social and emotional impact of the Special Olympics World Games.

For the athletes and their families, the experience opens doors to unimagined possibilities. For volunteers, coaches and other supporters from all parts of the world, the Games inspire hope and belief in a brighter future of global acceptance, understanding and unity.

The World Games are flagship events for the Special Olympics Movement. They take place every two years and alternate between Summer and Winter Games. The Games can be the world's largest sporting event of the year. Thousands of athletes, coaches, volunteers and supporters attend to see and cheer the skills and accomplishments of people with intellectual disabilities.

In July, 2015, over 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles to compete in 24 Olympic-type sports.  Los Angeles won the rights to the Games over South Africa.  The Summer World Games are held every four years, one year before the regular Olympics. In 2011, the Games were in Athens, Greece. The 2015 Special Olympics Summer World Games will be the largest sporting event on the planet that year.

Every day and all around the world,  athletes train and strive to achieve their very best. At World Games, the entire Special Olympics Movement comes together to see these athletes in action and celebrate their victories over huge odds.

Other Board members include former Olympians Rafer Johnson, Donna de Varona and Anita de Frantz  (also a member of the Inernational Olympic Committee), local business leaders Rick Caruso (The Grove) and Tim Leiwecke( AEG President), Bryan Stockton (Mattel CEO) Rob Friedman (Lionsgate Productions) and David Simon, President of the Los Angeles Sports Council.

Van Kirk is the former President/CEO of Special Olympics Southern California (now President Emeritus) and former Vice President-Technology of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.