The spark that became today's Special Olympics movement ignited at the
first 1968 International Summer Games in Chicago, Il., USA.
Five decades later, we returned to Chicago to launch the year-long global Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebration.
Special Olympics International, Special Olympics Illinois and Special Children’s Charities in Chicago united to host nearly a week of exciting events that celebrated the first 50 years of Special Olympics and launched the movement into the future.
Events included the first-ever Special Olympics Unified Cup; a star-studded Global Day of Inclusion; a Law Enforcement Torch Run Commemorative Run; a ceremonial lighting of the Special Olympics Eternal Flame of Hope, which symbolized our burning passion for inclusion and justice for people with intellectual disabilities.