Monday, March 5, 2018

Special Olympic Games Monument Coming to Neighborhood

A nice statue coming to the neighborhood (via Curbed):
Plans for a permanent monument honoring Chicago’s role in hosting the very first Special Olympics Games 50 years ago was unveiled at a ceremonial groundbreaking event Friday afternoon. Titled the Eternal Flame of Hope, the 30-foot-tall piece of public art will be joined by a new plaza and landscaping on Soldier Field’s north lawn, fronting McFetridge Drive.

The outdoor ceremony was attended by local officials including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke. She got the idea to create the Special Olympics in 1967 working as a 23-year-old Park District instructor heading a program for children with intellectual disabilities at West Pullman Park.

One year later, Chicago’s Soldier Field hosted nearly 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada at the first ever International Special Olympics Games. Since 1968, the games have grown into nothing short of a worldwide movement, attracting 5 million athletes from 172 countries.

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