2018 Special Olympics USA Games Announces New Ways to Support Athletes

Corporate Partners Provide Additional Options for Supporting More than 4,000 Special Olympics Athletes and Coaches, Including Alexa Donations and T-Mobile Text-to-Donate Campaign

SEATTLEJune 6, 2018 — At a press conference held today at Amazon’s Seattle South Lake Union campus, the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games announced new ways for individuals to support more than 4,000 athletes and coaches who’ll be competing in next month’s 2018 USA Games.

As a partner of the 2018 USA Games, Amazon is driving convenient ways to engage the community and raise funds for what will be one of the biggest sporting events held in the Puget Sound area:

  • By shopping on smile.amazon.com, individuals can designate “Special Olympics USA Games” and have the Amazon Smile Foundation donate 0.5% of the purchase price from eligible products to the 2018 USA Games.
  • Starting today, Echo and Alexa device users can simply say “Alexa, make a donation to the Special Olympics USA Games,” and Alexa will automatically charge the card on file to make the donation.
  • In partnership with the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce, the South Lake Union Community Council, and the Denny Triangle Neighborhood Association, Amazon has mobilized a growing list of restaurants to participate in a campaign called “Choose to Include.”  

Participating restaurants in South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle neighborhood will feature an existing dish from their menu or create a new dish that celebrates the spirit of Special Olympics. At the end of the campaign, each restaurant will donate a portion of proceeds from these dishes directly to the Special Olympics USA Games. The “Choose to Include” campaign kicks off on Friday June 22, and continues through Friday, July 6. A list of the participating restaurants can be found here.

Amazon is the Presenting Sponsor of the Special Olympics USA Games Closing Ceremony and in conjunction with today’s announcement, will be donating an additional $10,000 to support the 2018 USA Games.

“Amazon is proud to support the inclusive spirit of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games,” said Beth Galetti, Amazon’s Senior Vice President for Worldwide Human Resources. “At Amazon, diversity and inclusion are an inherent part of our culture. The unique talents, experiences, and backgrounds of our employees are the driving force which enables us to build and innovate on behalf of millions of customers around the world. We are looking forward to celebrating the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games athletes, their families, and their friends when they join us in Seattle.”

“On behalf of the entire staff at 2120, we are excited to meet and welcome the thousands of Special Olympics USA Games athletes and their families to Seattle,” said Milan Uzelac, owner of restaurant 2120.  “We cannot wait to celebrate the spirit of inclusion beside them and with our fellow Seattleites during the ‘Choose to Include’ campaign.”

In addition, Amazon has commissioned local artists to create original artworks that celebrate the spirit of inclusion embodied by the USA Games. The selfie-ready art pieces will be installed throughout South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle neighborhoods. Passersby are encouraged to show their support for the USA Games by tagging photos on social media of these unique works of art with #RiseWithUs and #ChooseToInclude.

In a separate press release issued today, the 2018 USA Games announced that T-Mobile has established a text-to-give program in support of the 2018 USA Games. Wireless users can donate $10 to the USA Games by texting “USAGames” to 20222. The charge will appear on their next carrier bill (message and data rates may apply).

“Once the athletes and coaches arrive in Seattle, the 2018 USA Games covers all of their expenses so that they can focus on competing and performing their best,” said Beth Knox, President and CEO of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. “Support from individuals and the business community makes a direct impact on the lives of our athletes and we are honored to work with corporate partners who share our vision of a more inclusive world for all.”

The Special Olympics USA Games Closing Ceremony will be held on Friday, July 6, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Lake Union Park. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend a family-friendly night of fun activities, food, live music, and a chance to celebrate the conclusion of an exciting week alongside Special Olympics athletes and their families.

A blog recap of today’s event can be found here.

The press kit from today’s press conference, including photos from the event, can be found here:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9q12qj5dxh2h9xg/AACmcH85RZ4BIIJ30MqZOtqJa?dl=0

About the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington from 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 SpecialOlympicsUSAGames.org and follow on Facebook (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames), Twitter (@2018USAGames) and Instagram (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames).

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Media Contacts

Jaymelina Esmele, 2018 Special Olympics USA Games


(206) 788-8964

Allison Flicker, Amazon


(516) 524-9295