CHICAGO, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Chicago, the birthplace of the Special Olympics, will arrange a series of events in July to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics movement.
One of the events taking place July 17-21 will be the Unified Cup competition, which will include a total of 24 international soccer teams made up of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities, according to a news release from the mayor's office.
A Global Day of Inclusion will be held on July 21 at Soldier Field, with sports activities, interactive games, exhibits, delicious food offerings and live entertainment.
The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held in Chicago in July 1968. Some 1,000 people with intellectual disabilities from 26 U.S. states and Canada competed in track and field, swimming and floor hockey.
In the past weekend, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Special Olympics officials for a groundbreaking ceremony held here for a permanent monument to convey the hope for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.
The Eternal Flame of Hope, a nine-meter high monument will be set up outside the Soldier Field stadium, the site of the first games 50 years ago.
"The Special Olympics Flame of Hope, a symbol which is a part of Special Olympics Games, has always been a beacon lighting the way for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities," said Mary Davis, the CEO of Special Olympics International.