50 Years of Inclusion

50th Anniversary

50 Years of Special Olympics

Since 1968, Special Olympics has been changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities. 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. For our year-long anniversary, we are celebrating 50 years of joy, courage and empowerment. Starting in July 2018, these global Special Olympics celebrations will inspire new generations to see the beauty, dignity and talent in each of us. We are celebrating 50 years of creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all!

Challange Accepted

For 50 years, Special Olympics Canada has been giving its athletes and participants the strength, determination and confidence to accept those challenges in sport – and in life, giving them the courage to stare down any hurdle and respond: Challenge Accepted.

People with intellectual disabilities are done being left behind. We’re ready to show the world the power of inclusion.

Our athletes are up for the challenge.

Are you?

Challenge Accepted




Events in Saskatchewan 

Law Enforcement Torch Run - Fun Run for Inclusion!

Saskatchewan Law Enforcement Torch Run will be putting on a 4km fun run to celebrate Global Day of Inclusion. This run is open to the public. There is no registration fee, but donations and pledges will be accepted from participants. For more information, click here.



Special Olympics Saskatchewan requested a proclamation from both municipal and provincial government to declare July 21 as the Global Day of Inclusion for Special Olympics.

On behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan, The Honorable Gene Makowsky, Minister of Parks, Culture, and Sport, has proclaimed July 21st as the Global Day of Inclusion for Special Olympics in Saskatchewan.

Community Proclamations:

  • City of Regina
  • City of Moose Jaw
  • City of Meadow Lake
  • City of Melfort
  • Town of Nipawin
  • Town of Unity
  • City of Prince Albert
  • Town of Tisdale
  • City of Saskatoon


Light up for Inclusion

To mark this major milestone, iconic monuments and landmarks world wide will join us by lighting up RED. This will be part of a global demonstration of inclusion, as monuments from Toronto’s CN Tower to the London Eye in U.K. light up in the Special Olympics colour.


Events in Chicago


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.

July 17 to 20
Chicago, Illinois, USA



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.

July 20
Chicago, Illinois, USA  



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.

Special Olympics Celebration Concert will also take place at Notherly Island in Chicago, Illinios. Chance the Rapper, Usher, Francis & The Lights, Daya, Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz, and O.A.R. will be performing on July 21 at the 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert! 

July 21
Chicago, Illinois, USA and around the world