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Special Olympics Celebrates 50 Years


2018 marks the 50th year of Special Olympics since its inception by Dr. Frank Hayden and Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968. What began as a small grassroots concept has flourished into a global movement with immeasurable impacts on individuals with intellectual disabilities.

50 years of growth and success in the Special Olympics movement is a mark well worth celebrating! A 50th anniversary event took place in Chicago, where the first International Summer Games took place in 1968. The 4-day event included Unified Sport competition, a Torch Run, live music and a Global Day of Inclusion - ultimately sparking the organization's transition into the next 50 years of the "Inclusion Revolution."

Special Olympics will continue to celebrate its 50th birthday following the Chicago event. The 2019 Invitational Youth Games will be another center-piece to the momentous occasion focused on showcasing the organization's incredible past while generating excitement for the future!

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