Irish Stars To Open Special Olympics
Irish acts U2, the Corrs, Samantha Mumba, and Ronan Tynan will be among the entertainers taking part in the opening ceremonies of the 11th Special Olympics World Summer Games. Set for June 21 in DubliIrish acts U2, the Corrs, Samantha Mumba, and Ronan Tynan will be among the entertainers taking part in the opening ceremonies of the 11th Special Olympics World Summer Games. Set for June 21 in Dublin's Croke Park, the event will be hosted by comedian Patrick Kielty and broadcast live on Ireland's RTE Television.
Tynan will perform "Athlete's Song, May We Never Have to Say Goodbye," accompanied by Rita Connolly, the National Symphony Orchestra, traditional Irish musicians, a pipe band, and a choir of 500. The song will be released as a single in June, according to Special Olympics organizers.
The event will also feature the largest collection of Riverdancers ever assembled, as well as the premiere of "Solstice," performed by the Belfast-based theater company Open Arts, which is comprised of performers with learning disabilities and professionals.
President of Ireland Mary McAleese and former South African president Nelson Mandella will officially open the games. Among the special guests will be Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder and honorary chairperson of the Special Olympics.
Free tickets to the opening ceremonies will be distributed to games participants and their families and supporters, as well as to the more than 170 host towns throughout Ireland and others involved with the event. More than 7,000 athletes from 150 countries will participate in the games.
Among other entertainment, the June 29 closing ceremonies will feature a two-hour concert. Performers for that event, also in Croke Parke, will be announced in early May. For more information on the Special Olympics World Games, visit specialolympics.org.