Chicago to Build Special Olympics Momument

A new monument is to be built near Soldier Field in Chicago to celebrate the Special Olympics. The first ever games were held 50 years ago, in 1968, in Chicago. Plans for the 30-foot structure were discussed at a ceremonial groundbreaking event Friday afternoon. The monument will be titled "The Eternal Flame of Hope" and be accompanied by a new plaza and landscaping in the north lawn of Soldier Field.

The Special Olympics began 50 years ago, with 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada competing. Over the past five decades, the Special Olympics have grown, hosting 5 million athletes from 172 countries. The Chicago Park District played a large part in founding the games through their park programs for children with disabilities. Chicago Park District Superintendent Mike Kelly stated, “This monument will serve as a reminder of that first event and serve as a beacon symbolizing the potential of every individual for greatness.”

Although this year's Special Olympic Games will be held in Seattle in July, Chicago will have the 50th anniversary celebration later in the month. The event will span over 4 days and will include the Unified Soccer Cup competition at Toyota Park, concerts at Northerly Island, a Global Day of Inclusion at Soldier Field, and a 4-mile torch run along the lakefront that will end in the lighting of the monuments' eternal flame.

For more information on the event and the statue, follow the link below:

https://chicago.curbed.com/2018/3/2/17068498/soldier-field-special-olympics-eternal-flame