Chicago welcomed Special Olympics athletes, families, friends and supporters to the birthplace of the global movement. More than 24 countries were represented for five days of soccer competitions, family activities, a star-packed concert and the Law Enforcement Torch Run that culminated in the lighting of the Eternal Flame of Hope at Soldier Field.
Two years ago, when Special Olympics programs were asked where they wanted to celebrate the 50th, they unanimously responded—Chicago. They wanted to come back to where it began when a young Anne McGlone Burke, now an Illinois Supreme Court Justice, had the idea of organizing a track meet which became the first games.
At the time, Anne was a physical education instructor with the Chicago Park District and worked with children who had disabilities. With support from Mayor Richard J. Daley, she contacted the Eunice Kennedy Shriver and their partnership led to the creation of Special Olympics.
Learn how you can get involved here.