A superstar line-up of musicians, songwriters and singers are celebrating the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games with a new anthem produced by Coca-Cola to capture the spirit and joy of the games.
"Reach Up" features Australian pop star Cody Simpson, Marc Roberge of American rock band O.A.R., and two talented singers with intellectual disabilities - nine-time Special Olympian, Bree Bogucki, and 13 year old YouTube sensation, Madison Tevlin.
“When you see a montage of Special Olympics athletes, their hands are usually in the air - they’re celebrating,” Marc Roberge said. “We want to make sure everyone identifies this song with that image and these inspiring athletes who face challenges head-on, and beat them through joy, hope and achievement.
Marc Roberge, who wrote “Reach Up” with Grammy-winning producer/songwriter Nathan Chapman and Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter Kevin Kadish, said he was inspired by Madison Tevlin’s cover of John Legend’s “All of Me” - which has racked up over 7 million views on YouTube.
The song also draws inspiration from Special Olympics Unified Sports — a program that brings together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to compete on the same team.
“We want “Reach Up” to inspire people of all abilities to feel like they can do anything, and never give up,” he said.
As the official song for the LA2015 World Games, “Reach Up” will be performed at the Opening Ceremony, 25 July in Los Angeles.
With 7,000 athletes from over 177 countries competing, the 2015 World Games has been described as the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world.
Team Australia will be represented by 76 athletes competing across 12 sports, including swimming, athletics, basketball, gymnastics and tennis.
Less than 30 days until the Opening Ceremony - #ReachUp to support the games
“Excited to partner up with the #SpecialOlympics this year! Show your support … #ReachUp @CocaCola,” Cody Simpson recently tweeted.
You too can support the games by sharing the “Reach Up” music video on social media using the hashtag #ReachUp.
Every time the video is shared using #ReachUp, Coca-Cola will donate $1 (up to $100K) to the Special Olympics, until the Opening Ceremony.
You can listen to the song on Spotify.
Coca-Cola and the Special Olympics - some background
Coca-Cola is the founding partner and global sponsor of Special Olympics. Since 1968 - Special Olympics’ inception - the company has maintained a deep commitment to the organisation and has provided more than $190 million in support of its programs through product, equipment, donations and marketing.
The Coca-Cola Australia Foundation recently awarded a Community Grant to Special Olympics Melbourne Inner East to support their Athlete Leadership Program, which provides training and mentoring for 60 athletes aged 12-25 years.
Currently there is a 64% rate of non-participation in sport for people with an intellectual disability. This project aims to encourage more people to choose sport for health and social benefits like reducing loneliness.