Chicago is proud to be the birthplace of the Special Olympics, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The very first International Special Olympics Games were held on July 20, 1968 at Soldier Field. What began as an idea for a simple track-and-field event has branched into the largest sporting competition in the world for intellectually disabled children, serving 5 million athletes in 172 countries.

Events planned for the 50th anniversary include the first-ever Special Olympics Unified Football (Soccer) Cup, a star-studded concert, establishment of a Special Olympics Eternal Flame of Hope monument to symbolize the ongoing drive towards creating inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, and a Change the Game Day event.

This is just one of the many high-profile sporting events to which Chicago plays host in 2018. Check out what the Chicago Sports Commission has in store.

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Navigate the 50th Anniversary like a pro with the Special Olympics mobile app

Special Olympics Devices

With the mobile app, you can:

  • Stay organized with up-to-the-minute Exhibitor, Speaker, Unified Cup and Event information
  • Receive important real-time communications from organizers
  • Build a personalized schedule and bookmark events
  • Find attendees and connect with your colleagues through Friends
  • Stay in-the-know and join in on social media
  • Share your event photos and experiences with the Activity Feed
  • Find Chicago Local Places
  • And much, much more!

Special Olympics QR