Cal to Host Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games

May 30, 2007

BERKELEY - The Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games will be held on the campus of UC Berkeley from June 8 through June 10. The opening ceremonies on Friday, June 8 from 7:30 - 9 p.m., will take place at Haas Pavilion and will include Cal women's basketball coach Joanne Boyle, 'American Idol's' Katherine McPhee and world-renowned performance artist David Garibaldi. The ceremonies, presented by AT&T, will kick off a two-day competition of more than 1,200 Special Olympics athletes and coaches from throughout Northern California who will be competing for gold in Aquatics, Track & Field, Bocce, Tennis and Volleyball.

McPhee, who shot to stardom as the first runner-up on the 5th season of 'American Idol,' is currently on tour promoting her self-titled debut album. Her first single, 'Over It,' was a Top 40 hit, and the accompanying video peaked at no. 1 on MTV's 'TRL' in March 2007.

Garibaldi, a Sacramento native, is a 24-year-old performance artist who paints 6 ft. tall paintings of pop culture icons in a matter of minutes. His Rhythm and Hue show integrates art, music and entertainment into one colorful experience. Since 2006, Special Olympics has been Garibaldi's charity of choice.

In addition to the performances from McPhee and Garibaldi, the Opening Ceremonies will include the traditional parade of athletes, appearances by Boyle and Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, and the lighting of the Special Olympics Caldron, signaling the beginning of the games.

Admission to Opening Ceremonies is FREE, and tickets are available at participating Bay Area AT&T stores beginning Friday, June 1. For a list of participating AT&T stores or for more information, please visit The competitions, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, and from 9 am.-2 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, are free and open to the public.

Special Olympics Northern California is a free year-round sports program that serves more than 15,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. For more information, please visit: