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Special Olympics 2015 Is Winding Down On An Emotional Note

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Posted at 9:27 PM, Aug 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 17:20:30-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After more than a week of weightlifting, horseback riding, swimming, soccer matches and other competitions, 6,500 athletes from 165 countries braced themselves for perhaps the most emotional Special Olympics World Games event on their schedule -- saying goodbye to a city that has embraced them.

The athletes with intellectual disabilities said goodbye to Los Angeles on Sunday during a star-studded closing ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

That's where first lady Michelle Obama and others welcomed them to LA on July 25.

Jam band O.A.R. and Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen were among those scheduled to say goodbye.

Afterward all went home winners.

Even those who didn't win medals captured the hearts of the estimated 500,000 who turned out to watch them compete in 25 sports. 

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)