Charlie Puth, Marshmello, Taye Diggs Added to Lineup for 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Opening Ceremony in Seattle on Sunday, July 1

Speakers at Opening Ceremony include Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft President Brad Smith, and Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver

Opening Ceremony to be televised live on ABC at 12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET.

SEATTLEJune 7, 2018 – The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games announced today additional performers and speakers for the Opening Ceremony which will take place at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium on Sunday, July 1. More than 4,000 Special Olympics athletes and coaches from across the nation, along with tens of thousands of family members, volunteers and spectators, will gather across Greater Seattle for a week of events and competitions in 14 team and individual sports.

New performers announced today are:

  • Multi-GRAMMY nominated singer, songwriter and producer Charlie Puth – whose multi-platinum hits include “See You Again,” “One Call Away,” and most recently, “Attention” from his just-released, Gold certified second album Voicenotes – will headline the Opening Ceremony.
  • World renowned DJ and producer Marshmello – who’s garnered more than two billion streams across Spotify alone with more than 40 million monthly listeners, making him the fifth most listened to artist in the world – will perform a set.
  • Actor, singer and author Taye Diggs, star of stage, television and film, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Puth, Marshmello and Diggs join previously announced Opening Ceremony performers Seattle hip hop crew Massive Monkees; Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Ann Wilson of Heart; and singer-songwriter Allen Stone, whose set will include a performance with the USA Games choir.

The 2018 USA Games also announced today the dignitaries scheduled to speak at the Opening Ceremony:

  • Washington Governor Jay Inslee
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
  • Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Honorary Chairman of the 2018 USA Games
  • Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International

“The Opening Ceremony is going to be the hottest ticket of the summer and we’re excited to have the community join in welcoming our athletes and coaches to the Pacific Northwest,” said Jayme Powers, Executive Producer and COO for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. “Unquestionably, spectators will be entertained and moved at the Opening Ceremony, but more importantly, we want them to be inspired to carry the Special Olympics message of inclusion out to their communities.”

In addition to a star-studded line up of entertainment, musical performances and speakers, the Opening Ceremony will feature ceremonial elements such as the Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron. The event will inspire the nation to celebrate the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities and put the spotlight on the positive impact of a more inclusive world for all.

ESPN, the official media partner of the 2018 USA Games, will telecast the Opening Ceremony live on ABC beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET. ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi will serve as host.

For more information on the 2018 USA Games and to purchase tickets for the Opening Ceremony, visit

Microsoft is the Presenting Partner of the Opening Ceremony and the Premier Partner of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.

About the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 participants representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2018 USA Games will also highlight Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building.

For more information on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, please visit and follow on Facebook (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames), Twitter (@2018USAGames) and Instagram (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames).

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Media Contact

Jaymelina Esmele, 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

(206) 788-8964