Hilton Worldwide today announced that the company is the official hotel sponsor of the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2011 in Athens, Greece, and of Special Olympics International through 2014. To celebrate the partnership, two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan announced today that Hilton Worldwide will launch the “Celebrating Special Olympics” traveling photography exhibit, a set of exclusive displays featuring images from famed photographer Richard Corman.
“Hilton Worldwide’s global reach and industry-leading brands make it a natural partner for Special Olympics, and we are thrilled to be able to work with the company as our official hotel sponsor for the 2011 World Summer Games,” said Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics.
To support Special Olympics and its mission, Hilton Worldwide will also donate 75 million Hilton HHonors points to the organization and provide discounted accommodations to Special Olympics constituents attending events such as the World Games. In addition, for each person that “likes” the Hilton HHonors Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HiltonHHonors) during the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Hilton Worldwide will donate one hundred Hilton HHonors points to Special Olympics (up to one million points). “We are honored to partner with the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2011 in Athens,” said Chris Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Worldwide. “We are eager to support some of the world’s best athletes in their aspirations to compete and achieve personal success, and encourage our team members and guests to share in our efforts.”
Richard Corman’s “Celebrating Special Olympics” will begin its tour at the Hilton Athens on June 24 and will travel the globe making stops at select properties within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of hotel brands. Corman is known for his admiration of Special Olympics, and his recently published book, I AM PROUD, is dedicated to Special Olympics athletes. Following the completion of the tour, the photos will be auctioned off with all proceeds benefiting Special Olympics.
Also through the exclusive partnership, Hilton Worldwide guests will be able to donate Hilton HHonors points to the organization.
Special Olympics was founded in 1968 by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver and has evolved into a global movement dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to reinforce their self-esteem, to discover their special abilities, and in this way become active members of their societies primarily through sports training and competition. From June 25 to July 4, 2011 in Athens, 7,000 of the world’s greatest Special Olympics athletes from nearly 180 nations will compete in 22 Olympic-type sports.
“Joining the Special Olympics movement allows Hilton Worldwide to act on our vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality,” said Paul Brown, President of Global Brands and Commercial Services. “It also builds on the actions of company founder Conrad Hilton, whose spirit of generosity and belief that travel and hospitality could be powerful tools to bridge cultures continues to drive our actions as a company today.”
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 3.7 million athletes in over 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 in places like China and from regions like the Middle East to the community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood’s backyard. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship.