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Event Ends:
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Across the Globe

Special Olympics 50th Anniversary

Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Mark

In the midst of all of the tumultuous unrest of 1968, an event was held at Soldier Field, in Chicago, Illinois on July 20. By its very nature, this was a revolutionary moment in time. The world witnessed for the first time a sports competition for people with intellectual disabilities from 26 states. 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. 


Unified Cup

The inaugural Special Olympics Unified Cup competition will team people with and without intellectual disabilities from all over the world. A total of 24 football/soccer teams -- from every region of the world -- will take part. These include 16 men's teams and eight women's teams. The four-day event will be held at Toyota Park.

17 to 20 July 2018
Chicago, Illinois, USA


50th Anniversary Torch Run and Eternal Flame of Hope

The Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Law Enforcement Torch Run Commemorative Run will include Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement officers from Illinois and elsewhere.

In addition, Chicago will mark a citywide salute to 50 years of Special Olympics. The entire city will light up with a new eternal "Flame of Hope" -- symbolizing a world of welcome and inclusion, where everyone can learn, work, compete and play with the same rights and opportunities.

20 July 2018
Chicago, Illinois, USA  


Global Day of Inclusion

Soldier Field, the birthplace of Special Olympics, will host a massive celebration, a festival of inclusion that will serve as the spark for people around the world to commit to making their cities more inclusive. This family friendly festival will offer sports activities, interactive games, exhibits, delicious food offerings, and live entertainment. As evening comes, the excitement - and crowds - will build for a star-studded evening of inspiring entertainment for more than 30,000 at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island -- and a live audience around the world.
21 July 2018 
Chicago, Illinois, USA and around the world