Special Olympics was born in Chicago when the first International Special Olympics Games were held on July 20, 1968 at Soldier Field. Since then it has grown into a worldwide movement engaging millions of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
The Special Olympics mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and build friendships with other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Special Olympics Chicago has partnered with the Chicago Park District since the first international Special Olympics Games in 1968. They now serve more than 5,000 athletes, with year-round sports training and competition in 22 sports, at 21 park locations throughout the city of Chicago. The park program provides more than 53 Special Olympics competitions annually, along with more than a dozen camps and leagues for the athletes to train. The Chicago Park District Special Olympics program is the largest run Special Olympics program implemented by any public park district in the country.
Visit www.specialolympics50.org to learn about special events happening in July, and to share any Special Olympics stories you might have.