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Special Olympics “Lit Up” the Globe to Celebrate Inclusion Revolution

Australian Landmarks Light Up Red for the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary

Iconic landmarks around the world turned red in a global display of unity on July 20

Major landmarks, stadia and iconic buildings around the world turned RED in a global display of unity as part of the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration. The act represents the dawn of the Inclusion Revolution—Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities (ID) worldwide and create inclusive communities.

“We are grateful for the tremendous support to help celebrate and raise awareness for people with intellectual disabilities regardless of where they live in the world,” said Special Olympics International Chairman, Timothy Shriver. “Light Up for Inclusion symbolizes the continuation and evolution of Special Olympics’ mission.”

More than 225 landmarks worldwide will participate in the Light Up for Inclusion initiative on July 20th, creating a global display of tolerance, respect and celebration of difference.

Major global landmarks participating in Light Up for Inclusion include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Emirates Palace and ADNOC HQ, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  2. Empire State Building, New York, USA
  3. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
  4. Coca-Cola London Eye, Piccadilly sign & Blackpool Tower, UK
  5. African Renaissance Monument, Dakar, Senegal
  6. Prudential Buildings, Willis Tower & more, Chicago, USA
  7. Amman Citadel, Amman, Jordan
  8. Angel of Independence, Mexico City, Mexico
  9. Administration Building Panama Canal, Panama
  10. Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea
  11. Nelson Mandela Statue, Johannesburg, South Africa
  12. Niagara Falls, USA and Canada
  13. Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
  14. The Esplanade, Singapore
  15. The Water Cube, Beijing, China

Browse the full list of Light Up for Inclusion landmarks here.

Light Up for Inclusion is part of the action-packed Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration taking place in Chicago from July 17-21. Chicago is the birth place of the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, which were held at Soldier Field in July 1968.

Special Olympics athletes, coaches, supporters and celebrities from around the globe will gather in Chicago for the 50th Anniversary to commemorate 50 years of joy, courage and empowerment, and participate in a weekend filled with inspiring events.

The inaugural Unified Soccer Cup presented by Toyota at CIBC Fire Pitch and TOYOTA Park will take place from July 17-20 in Chicago, featuring players with and without intellectual disabilities competing together. The Commemorative Law Enforcement Torch Run will occur on Friday, July 20, featuring hundreds of law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes from around the world. The four-mile run will conclude with the lighting of the Eternal Flame of Hope outside of Soldier Field. To wrap up the celebration, Special Olympics will host a Global Day of Inclusion at Soldier Field, a family-friendly celebration featuring sports, interactive games, exhibits, food and live entertainment, and the 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert featuring Chance the Rapper, Usher, Francis & the Lights, Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz and O.A.R. More information can be found here.

“Fifty years ago in Chicago, Special Olympics began its mission to break down barriers and create a more inclusive world at the first ever International Summer Games,” said Mary Davis, Special Olympics International CEO. “As we charge into the next 50 years with a renewed purpose of ending discrimination, we are encouraging people across the globe to join us and help create a fully inclusive world.”

The next Special Olympics World Summer Games will take place in Abu Dhabi from March 14-21, 2019. Over 7,000 Special Olympics athletes representing over 170 countries from around the world will compete.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5 million athletes and Unified partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company, United Airlines, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Microsoft, Lions Clubs International, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, Safilo Group, and TOYOTA. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium.

Media Contact

Fiona Hynes
Special Olympics International
P: (00-353) 87-1342820

Connor Mellas
P: (212) 614-4702