2022 Special Olympics USA Games Ambassadors Include Academy-Award-Winning Celebrities and Hall-of-Fame Athletes

The first round of USA Games’ Ambassador announcements includes Mark Cuban, Charli D’Amelio, Ellen DeGeneres, Elena Delle Donne, Chris Evert, Whoopi Goldberg, Tiffany Haddish, Grant Hill,  Jimmy Kimmel, Rob Lowe and Lin-Manuel Miranda who lend their voices in support of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, presented by Jersey Mike’s Subs, announce commitments from an extraordinary lineup of celebrities and athletes who agreed to lend their voices in support of the thousands of Special Olympics athletes who are training across the US with dreams of competing in the USA Games in Orlando, Florida, June 5-12, 2022.

The USA Games Ambassador roster touts seven Hall of Famers, 14 Olympic medal winners and sports heroes that have played in more than 80 All-Star games, Pro Bowls and other championship games. Additionally, the Ambassadors come with a profound number of entertainment awards and accolades with more than 200 major award nominations, three Oscars, and more than 125 Grammys, Emmys, Golden Globes, Tonys and SAG awards. These Ambassadors represent a huge presence on social media with more than 500 million followers and 15 billion content views. This includes the number one star of TikTok, Charli D’Amelio and her more than 92 million followers.

“We are honored and ecstatic to announce such an impressive lineup of Games Ambassadors who range from sports heroes and Hollywood stars, to cultural influencers and society leaders,” said Joe Dzaluk, President & CEO of the 2022 Special Olympic USA Games. “It is through their global reach and unwavering passion for those with intellectual disabilities that we can speak to millions across the country about our mission of inclusion and inspire our athletes during the Games’ journey.”

The initial Games Ambassadors roster represents eight decades of superstars and personalities:

Chelsea Clinton is an author, global health advocate and vice chair of the Clinton Foundation. She has received numerous awards and honors for her humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

Lee Corso is a sports broadcaster and analyst. The 28-year career coach has been a featured analyst on ESPN’s College GameDay program since 1987.  

Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur, TV personality, media proprietor, investor, author and star of Shark Tank. He is the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. 

Charli D’Amelio is a viral digital superstar, with a combined social following of over 133M. She continues to be the leading TikTok digital creator, with her content viewed over seven billion times.

Johnny Damon played professional baseball from 1995 to 2012. He is a two-time World Series Champion with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Andre Dawson is a Hall of Fame MLB star. The eight-time All Star, former Rookie of the Year and League MVP played professionally for 21 years.

Ellen DeGeneres is an award-winning comedian, author and producer. She has won 33 Emmys and 20 People's Choice Awards. Her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres show, has been a hit for 18 seasons. 

Elena Delle Donne is a professional basketball player, two-time MVP and six-time All Star. She is a 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist and a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics.

Big Show (Paul Donald Wight II) is a professional wrestler, a seven-time world champion and one of the most decorated WWE Superstars of all time. He is a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics. 

Chris Evert is an International Hall of Fame tennis player. She has won 18 Grand Slam singles championships and three doubles titles.

Whoopi Goldberg is an actress, comedian, author, and TV personality. She is one of only 16 entertainers to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, and a Tony Award (EGOT).

Meagan Good is an actress, model and author. She starred as Joanna Locasto, the lead character on the NBC drama series Deception

Jack Dylan Grazer is an actor known for Stephen King's It, and the 2019 sequel. He also had a starring role  in the superhero film Shazam!

Gabrielle Nevaeh Green is a TV actress with a starring role in the revival of the Nickelodeon show All That.

Tiffany Haddish is a well-known actress, comedian and author. The Emmy Award winner starred in the hit comedy, Girls Trip, and stars in The Last O.G.  

That Girl Lay Lay (Alaya High) is a hip-hop artist and the youngest female rapper to sign with Empire Records. The influencer has over 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube, and has a deal with Nickelodeon.  

Dulé Hill is an actor and tap dancer who is known for his roles on West Wing and Psych. He is the recipient of two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Grant Hill, seven-time NBA All-Star, retired after 19 years with the NBA. He won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996. Grant is a co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks and a gifted sports broadcaster.

Robert Irvine is a world-class chef, author, and philanthropist. He is the host of the popular show Restaurant: Impossible, helping struggling restaurateurs get a second chance at business. 

Jimmy Kimmel is a comedian, host, and producer. He is the winner of three Emmy Awards, hosted the Oscars twice and has been entertaining his fans as the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! for 19 seasons.

Ali Krieger is a professional soccer player for Orlando Pride and Team USA. She is a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion, winning in 2015 and 2019.

Rob Lowe is an actor, writer, producer and director known for roles in The Outsiders, Oxford Blues, St. Elmo's Fire and About Last Night, and for starring in hit TV shows, The West Wing and Parks & Rec

Dan Marino is an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback who spent 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. The nine-time Pro Bowler is the founder of the Dan Marino Foundation serving young adults with disabilities. 

Jaeden Martell is an actor. He is known for his role of Bill Denbrough in the 2017 and 2019 film adaptations of the Stephen King novel It.

Marlee Matlin is an actress, author, and activist. She has an Academy Award for Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God. She is the only deaf performer to have won an Oscar.

Auston Matthews is a professional ice hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is the only player to have scored four goals in his NHL debut. In 2017, he was named as the NHL’s top rookie.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a composer, lyricist, and actor best known for creating and starring in Broadway’s Hamilton and In The Heights. He is a Pulitzer Prize, Emmy, three-time Grammy and three-time Tony Award winner.

Ja Morant is a professional basketball player with the Memphis Grizzlies. He was the second overall draft pick in 2019 and in 2020 received the Rookie of the Year award. 

Ryan O’Connell is a writer, actor, director, comedian, LGBTQ activist and disability advocate. His 2015 memoir about his life as a gay man with cerebral palsy was adapted into a hit Netflix series.

Katelyn Ohashi is an athlete, advocate and poet. She is a six-time All-American and four-time member of USA Gymnastics’ Junior National Team, junior national champion and the winner of the American Cup.

Denise Richards is an actress, fashion model and former Bond girl. She’s known for her roles in Wild Things, Starship Troopers and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  

Izabela Rose is a young actress who had the  lead role in Disney’s Upside-Down Magic. She was handpicked by Steven Spielberg for a role in Amazing Stories.  

Warren Sapp is a Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer who played in the NFL for 13 seasons, primarily with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Miami University alumni was a first-round draft pick in 1995.

Richard Schiff is an actor and director. He played Toby Ziegler on The West Wing, a role for which he received an Emmy Award. 

Eric Stonestreet is an actor and comedian best known for his role in the ABC sitcom Modern Family. During his successful career, Stonestreet has received two Emmy awards. 

Joy Taylor is a radio personality and TV host. Taylor is the news update anchor on Fox Sports 1's The Herd with Colin Cowherd and moderated for Fox Sports 1's studio show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.

Dara Torres is a competitive swimmer with 12 Olympic medals. Torres is the first swimmer to represent the US in five Olympic Games and, at age 41, the oldest swimmer to earn a place on the US Olympic team.

Rayka Zehtabchi is an Iranian-American Academy Award director. She directed and produced the short film documenting the creation of the 2022 USA Games logo.

“The list of superstars joining our movement is amazing!” said Jacquie Clare, a Special Olympics athlete and USA Games employee. “As an athlete, I’m so honored that they’ve chosen to help tell our story. With their support, these will be the greatest games ever.”

To learn more about the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games and the star-studded line up of Games Ambassadors, please visit www.2022usagames.org/ambassador and follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is scheduled for June 5-12, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Jersey Mike’s Subs is the Presenting Partner and Walt Disney World Resort is host during the event. During this magical week, more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will travel to Florida to unite in one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The USA Games is hosted once every four years and showcases 20 Olympic-style team and individual sports and 30 events throughout the week including forums and VIP receptions. Website: www.2022usagames.org

Emily Kruszewski

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c4d32c61-49a2-43ea-83ad-422ef9f33fc0

Special Olympics USA Games Athletes