Special Olympics competitors sleep on gym floor due to logistics mess

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Special Olympics logistics mess forced at least 1,500 people from around the world to sleep on the gym floor at Loyola Marymount University.

The delegates, who were from several different countries like Norway, Mexico, Venezuela, Kenya and the Cayman Islands, were unable to get to their host cities due to late flights and buses Tuesday.

"They were sleeping on the floor, they were sleeping on cardboard boxes, things like that," said Esmeralda Brockhurst, a delegation liaison for Portugal.

The L.A. City Department of Emergency Management called the Red Cross at 12:30 a.m. for water, blankets and snacks. The Red Cross was able to provide 1,200 blankets and 3,000 bottles of water.

The athletes were able to travel to their host cities on Wednesday morning.

"It was a bit tough on some of the athletes who didn't really understand situation," said Barry Dulson, a head coach for Isle of Man.

About 7,000 athletes from 177 different countries are gathering in Los Angeles this week to compete in the games, which will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues across the city.

The opening ceremony will be held on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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