US & World

Michelle Obama opens Special Olympics in Los Angeles

US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
The Burkino Faso teams enter the stadium at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks explode over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
US athletes and officials march during the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Maria Shriver speaks as Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver (L) looks on at the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries particpating. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Cheerleaders from Dallas, Texas warm up before the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25: (L-R) Bree Bogucki, Madison Tevlin, and Marc Roberge of O.A.R open the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games by performing the Coca-Cola Unified song "Reach Up" during the Special Olympics World Games opening ceremonies at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Coca-Cola)
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Coca-Cola
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Performers dance at the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
US Special Olympic athlete Destiny Sanchez holds the flame during the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Young fans watch the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
US First Lady Michelle Obama declares the 2015 Special Olympics World Games open July 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating.        AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Children dance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, with more that 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participating. AFP PHOTO/ Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images


Michelle Obama has welcomed thousands of athletes to the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles.

The first lady opened the games Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, telling 6,500 athletes from 165 countries that she and her husband love them and are proud of them.

President Barack Obama earlier greeted the athletes by video.

A flaming torch carried from Greece was used to light the Coliseum's Olympic beacon.

The games are for those with intellectual disabilities. Celebrities ranging from Maria Shriver to Stevie Wonder praised the athletes' courage and determination.

It's the largest gathering of athletes in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Olympics.

The athletes will participate in 25 sports over nine days, ranging from weightlifting to the triathlon.

Watch: Michelle Obama opens Special Olympics