Farrell, Willis to promote Special Olympics

MUMBAI: Special Olympics, one of the world’s leading movements for people with intellectual disabilities, named several Hollywood heavy hitters as Official Spokespeople for the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games.


Actors Colin Farrell and Eva Mendes along with actor and producer Bruce Willis are the newest crusaders dedicated to transforming communities by inspiring people throughout the world to open their minds to accepting and including people with intellectual disabilities.


Hong Kong pop star Karen Mok, and Chinese film stars Vicki Zhao and Xu Zheng were also named Official Spokespeople for the impending World Games, which will be held in Shanghai in October 2007.


The newest group of Special Olympics champions will serve as role models using their international star power to spread the mission of Special Olympics and its message of promoting harmonious communities to all corners of the world. As an Official Games Spokesperson, they will join a premier group of international Special Olympics supporters including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; boxing legend Muhammad Ali; Olympians Scott Hamilton, Nadia Comaneci, and Bart Conner; performers Vanessa Williams and Rev. Joseph Simmons; and NBA sensation Yao Ming.


“We are delighted to welcome world class talent to the Special Olympics family serving as a global voice for a population that is often overlooked, misunderstood and ignored. Their commitment to our movement will bring tremendous awareness around to world to the abilities and accomplishments of Special Olympics athletes and the nearly 100 million people worldwide with intellectual disabilities by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion,” said Special Olympics president and CEO Bruce Pasternack.


In a related announcement, plans to create the “Special Olympics Wall of Art” were announced. Designed by renowned pottery artist Zheng Yi and co-produced by Special Olympic athletes across 10 cities in China, including Shanghai, the wall will consist of 525 pottery plates.


The front side of the wall exhibits the design concept of each participant, and the back side displays each producer’s autograph. Societal elites and those from entertainment circles will also contribute and emphasize the concept of “embracing differences.”


The wall will complete production towards the end of September 2007 and will be exhibited outside Shanghai Stadium during the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games.


Farrell, Mendes, Mok, Zhao and Zheng were the first celebrities to contribute to the “Special Olympics Wall of Art,” creating their own pottery plates in which they autographed and presented to Special Olympics athletes.


Pasternack added, “The Special Olympics Wall of Art display efforts made by people from all walks of life to symbolize the spirit of equal participation. Our aim is to empower Special Olympics athletes and for all to be a part of the Special Olympics Global movement. As you admire the artwork, you will be inspired by the courage and passion of the athletes and will be amazed by the support from all circles of society for our movement.”

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