All-star cast of artists with and without intellectual disabilities record unified song, “Reach Up,” to rally the globe to be a fan for Special Olympics
Atlanta, June 15, 2015 – This summer, Los Angeles will welcome 7,000 inspirational athletes from 177 different countries to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Supporting children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the World Games is the largest sports and humanitarian event on the globe.
To celebrate, The Coca‑Cola Company, Founding Partner of Special Olympics, has assembled a star-studded team to record a unified song for the World Games, titled “Reach Up.” The new song debuts today and will be performed during the World Games. ESPN is the official broadcaster of the World Games and will have a three-hour live telecast of the Opening Ceremony beginning at 9 p.m. ET featuring Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak and Kevin Negandhi.
“Reach Up” features rock band O.A.R., recording artist Cody Simpson and, accompanied by Breanna Bogucki, a singer and decorated Special Olympics athlete from Illinois who has Autism, and Madison Tevlin, a young Canadian woman with Down syndrome who became a viral sensation earlier this year. Written by Marc Roberge, lead singer of O.A.R., Nathan Chapman and Kevin Kadish the uplifting alternative-rock song encourages people of all abilities to never give up.
Inspired by Special Olympics Unified Sports – a program that brings athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team to compete – “Reach Up” embodies the values of optimism, acceptance and inclusion shared by Coca‑Cola and Special Olympics.
“In all our lives, we’ve been touched by somebody who may not have been born with all the opportunities we were. At the end of the day, we are all doing the exact same thing - trying to appreciate this daily life that we’re given,” said Marc Roberge, lead singer of O.A.R. “I feel like the lucky one, being able to spend time and learn from two incredible individuals - Madison and Bree - involved with Coca‑Cola for something as special and as important as the Special Olympics World Games. ‘Reach Up’ is an anthem. I want people to hear it and feel like they can do anything.”
Fans can support Special Olympics by sharing the “Reach Up” music video on social media using the hashtag #ReachUp. Coca‑Cola will donate one dollar – up to $100,000 – to Special Olympics for every “Reach Up” video share using the hashtag leading up to the World Games.
Fans can listen to “Reach Up” on Spotify.
The Coca‑Cola Company is the Founding Partner and Global Sponsor of Special Olympics, the world’s largest health and sports organization dedicated to people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Since 1968 – Special Olympics’ inception – the Company has maintained a deep commitment to the organization and has provided more than $190 million in support of its programs through product, equipment, donations and marketing support.
The Coca‑Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca‑Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca‑Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CocaColaCo or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.
The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts. Current Founding Champions and sponsors include The Coca‑Cola Company, Mattel, Deloitte, Kaiser Permanente, Davis Elen Advertising, AEG, David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, The Walt Disney Company, Knights of Columbus and Bank of America. LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org.
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4 million athletes in 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all over the world, from community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood’s backyard to World Games. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at http://www.specialolympics.org and engage with us on:@specialolympics, fb.com/specialolympics, youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.