SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES, Opening & Closing Ceremonies

Yale Bowl, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

The Yale Bowl Stadium at Yale University, in New Haven Connecticut, has been the site of hundreds of college football games, and two seasons of NFL action. This was the main venue for the 1995 World Special Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. These ceremonies starred 80,000 spectators and 7,200 athletes from 140 different countries and were televised as a two-hour NBC Special. It included the opening address by President Bill Clinton, as well as headliners such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ruben Blades, (Host) Bob Costas, Tony Danza, Frank Gifford, Hootie & the Blowfish, and more. The ceremonies themselves involved everything from a 40-piece orchestra to a 1,000-voice choir. Including laser effects, and aerial pyrotechnics.

According to The Boston Globe, “It was one of the rare times in sport, and indeed, in life, when all the hype was justified… It was a ceremony full of sport, spirit and splendor.  And it was a spectacle suitable for the world’s largest sporting event”.