LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This year on Hollywood’s most golden weekend of Academy Awards® celebrations, “Gold Meets Golden” will again welcome some of the world’s greatest names from sports and entertainment. “Gold Meets Golden” will take place at the Equinox Sports Club Lounge on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 --the site of the inaugural 2013 celebration - with a luncheon where actors, athletes, artists and Olympians will merge in celebration of Hollywood Awards Season, and the Special Olympics World Games, which are being held over nine days in Los Angeles (July 25-Aug. 2) this summer. This event will specifically benefit the World Games “Support An Athlete” Program, which raises funds to cover costs for the 7,000 athletes during their stay in Los Angeles.
The 2015 event will continue to carry the torch of the Hollywood and sports connection initially lit by 2013 hosts Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Jon Bon Jovi, Stacy Keibler and Ryan Kavanaugh; and 2014 hosts Kerry Washington, Sofia Vergara and Hayden Panettiere; with the announcement of 2015 hosts Eddie Redmayne, Laura Dern, Gina Rodriguez, Matt Bomer and the return of host Nicole Kidman, and Olympic champion hosts Greg Louganis, Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner, and Maria Shriver, daughter of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
"I am inspired to join with those who want to make a difference for the 7,000 Special Olympics athletes competing in the World Games this summer,” said Shriver. “I want to thank Gold Meets Golden for helping build the awareness that leads to acceptance and inclusion for all people with intellectual disabilities.”
“Gold Meets Golden has become one of the highlights of my year, and Bart and I are so excited to participate once again,” said Comaneci, who has attended both prior events. “It is such an exciting and rare opportunity for incredible athletes and entertainers to come together to celebrate the US Olympic and Special Olympics movements; I wouldn't miss it and am thrilled to be one of the athlete hosts.”
“Gold Meets Golden” organizers are honored that Nicole Kidman, who won the Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar® for her work in “The Hours,” is returning as host after delighting athletes and celebrities alike at the inaugural “Gold Meets Golden” event. Kidman remarked on her fondness for aquatic sports at the 2013 event, and felt at home with equally statuesque Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin. Joining Kidman, 2015 Academy Award® Nominees Laura Dern and Eddie Redmayne, and 2015 Golden Globe Award winner Gina Rodriguez will welcome athletes to Los Angeles during its most glamorous weekend. Dern is nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar® for her stirring portrayal of Reese Witherspoon’s mother in “Wild,” and Redmayne as Best Performance by a Actor in a Leading Role Oscar® for his Golden Globe and SAG award-winning portrayal of celebrated theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author Stephen Hawking in the film “The Theory of Everything.” Rodriguez won Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for her breakout role in “Jane the Virgin,” earning the first Golden Globe award for the CW Network. Bomer is also a recent Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries Golden Globe award winner for his work in the HBO’s “The Normal Heart.”
Previous “Gold Meets Golden” celebrity attendees have also included Matthew McConaughey, Chris Hemsworth, Seth Meyers, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy.
The Hollywood celebrities will welcome the 2015 Special Olympics World Games with a special trio of legendary Gold-Medal winning Olympian Hosts: gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner, and diver Greg Louganis. These Olympians know the thrill of competition first hand, and will be joined by Special Olympics Southern California athlete and LA2015 board member Dustin Plunkett, along with other Special Olympics athletes. Nadia, Bart and Dustin also recently mingled with Brad Pitt at the Hollywood premiere of Angelina Jolie’s "Unbroken” film, as part of the “Gold Meets Golden” brand. Maria Shriver is carrying on her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s legacy with her dedication to the Special Olympics World Games, by co-hosting “Gold Meets Golden.”
“This year's event is especially important to me because it honors Special Olympics and the 2015 World Games that will be held this summer in Los Angeles,” continued Comaneci. “As a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics, it's vital that we all support the World Games, and this Gold Meets Golden event is a great way for all of us to celebrate the spirit of inclusion and acceptance of people of all abilities. That is the true power of sport.”
Previous “Gold Meets Golden” athlete attendees include speed skaters Apolo Anton Ohno, Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen; track & field’s Jackie Joyner-Kersee; slopestyle skier and recent X-Games® champion Nick Goepper; beach volleyball players Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor; gymnasts Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas; swimmers Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin and Nathan Adrian; and many more.
The occasion will benefit the Special Olympics World Games “Support An Athlete” program. Arriving from all corners of the world, 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will take the global stage in Los Angeles and show the world incredible courage, unwavering determination, and sheer joy. Through support of these athletes as they live out their dreams in front of us, hearts and minds will open, expanding the collective sense of acceptance and inclusion. This will remind everyone of shared courage, joy, and determination.
“There is no greater global stage than Los Angeles to create awareness that leads to acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities,” said Patrick McClenahan, president and CEO of LA2015, the Games’ Organizing Committee. “We are appreciative to Gold Meets Golden and all the participants for helping raise the necessary funds to welcome 7,000 athletes to the largest sporting event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.”
The event will be supported by a variety of companies and sponsors led by Equinox, operator of 73 upscale, full-service clubs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Dallas and Washington, DC, as well as international locations in London and Toronto. Since its inception in 1991, Equinox has developed a lifestyle brand that represents service, value, quality, expertise, innovation, attention to detail, market leadership and results. “Gold Meets Golden” is developed and managed by CW3PR.
More info at: www.goldmeetsgolden.com