• People in stadium cheer as fireworks explode overhead

    50 Years of Empowerment

    Since 1968, Special Olympics has been changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities. Since 1968, Special Olympics has been changing the world! 

    Starting in July 2018, we are celebrating 50 years of creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all. Join us -- and Change the Game!!  

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  • Celebrating Abilities, Worldwide

Celebrating Abilities, Worldwide

For our year-long anniversary, we are celebrating 50 years of joy, courage and empowerment. Starting July 2018, these global Special Olympics celebrations will inspire new generations to see the beauty, dignity and talent in each of us.
Chicago is hosting the Special Olympics movement’s 50th Anniversary global celebration events July 17 – 22, 2018.

Celebrating 50 Years of Unity and Empowerment

The spark that became today's Special Olympics movement ignited at the first 1968 International Summer Games in Chicago, Ill., USA. 

Five decades later, we are returning to Chicago to launch the year-long global Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebrations in July 2018. 

Join us as we play together, learn from each other, and chart an inspiring course for the future!

Special Olympics International, Special Olympics Illinois and Special Children’s Charities in Chicago are uniting to host nearly a week of exciting events to celebrate the first 50 years of Special Olympics and to launch the movement into the future.

Events planned for July 2018 in Chicago include the first-ever Special Olympics Unified Football (Soccer) Cup. 

Also planned is a star-studded music concert; plus a Change the Game Day event, where the public can "Play Unified" and join in fun athletic competition with Special Olympics athletes. Details will also be announced about a Special Olympics Eternal Flame of Hope monument, which will symbolize our burning passion for inclusion and justice for people with intellectual disabilities.