ABU DHABI 9 March 2019: A stellar line-up of world-renowned musicians has been revealed for the Opening Ceremony of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
Confirmed to perform on 14 March at Zayed Sports City Stadium is Canadian superstar Avril Lavigne.
Avril Lavigne has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and her latest release ‘Head Above Water’ debuted in the Top 5 of the Billboard charts last month. She started The Avril Lavigne Foundation in 2010 to support young people living with serious illnesses or disability. Her song, Fly, was released in 2015 as the theme for Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Also taking to the stage at Zayed Sports City Stadium are Luis Fonsi – best known for his smash hit single ‘Despacito’ and three-time Grammy Award nominee British DJ, Paul Oakenfold, who has provided over 100 remixes for more than 100 widely-acclaimed artists during his illustrious career.
Egyptian pop sensation and actor Tamer Hosny, nicknamed ‘King of the Generation’ by his own fans, as well as well-known Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi and Syrian artist Assala Nasri make up a truly international line-up featuring talent from the region and beyond all coming together to celebrate inclusion.
Performances by the global stars, which will be witnessed by more than 40,000 spectators and millions of TV viewers around the globe, will be among the highlights of an unforgettable evening showcasing humanity at its brilliant best.
“I am so excited to come to Abu Dhabi! I have been working with the Special Olympics for a number of years and this will truly be an incredible experience performing at the largest and most unified Special Olympics World Games ever held! These athletes are so inspiring and they are a huge part of what we believe in and support through The Avril Lavigne Foundation. I want to shine a light on their courage and determination and I am honoured to have been invited to help support them,” commented Avril Lavigne.
More than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations will take center stage in the traditional Athlete Parade as they show the world that there are no barriers when it comes to achievement on the sporting stage. The athletes will be accompanied by a number of international celebrities and sporting heroes including Special Olympics Global Ambassadors such as Didier Drogba, Michelle Kwan, Dikembe Mutombo, Vladimir Grbic and Apolo Ohno, who are all passionate about driving the Special Olympics movement forward.
The ceremony will also see the lighting of the cauldron that will officially mark the opening of the World Games when ‘the Flame of Hope’ completes its final journey of the nationwide Law Enforcement Torch Run® into the iconic Zayed Sports City stadium.
With Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 set to be the most unified Games in the 50-year history of the Special Olympics movement, People of Determination have played a pivotal role in conceptualizing, organizing, creating and staging the Opening Ceremony and performances. They are the ‘Makers’ who are working hand-in-hand with an international team of technical specialists and performers to make their vision a reality at the Opening Ceremony, which will mark the beginning of the world’s biggest sports and humanitarian event of the year.
The Opening Ceremony will be broadcast live from Zayed Sports City to millions of viewers across the world by the Official World Games Broadcast Partners, ESPN and Abu Dhabi TV.
The World Games will see over 7,500 athletes compete in 24 Olympic-style sports between 14 – 21 March.