Special Olympics celebrates 50 years

CHICAGO — The Special Olympics celebrated its 50th anniversary in Chicago this weekend.

Athletes and organizers dedicated a 30-foot torch at Soldier Field on Saturday, July 21 at the scene of the first Special Olympics in 1968.

Illinois Supereme Court Justice Anne Burke helped organize the groundbreaking event.

“We renew our tribute to the power of hope and the triumph of social equality over the evils of exclusion and discrimination,’ Burke said.

In the midst of a sudden downpour, the son of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver lit the torch.

“Let’s light the flame of hope and go on inside,” Tim Shriver exclaimed.

The 50th Special Olympics continued through the weekend with a performance by Chance the Rapper at Northerly Island Saturday night.

“Garrett is much more confident in himself. He’s much more able to take risks, which is something that individuals with intellectual disabilities don’t always get a chance or are even expected to be able to do,” a mother, Sharon Anderson said.