The Flame of Hope symbolizes Special Olympics’ bright vision: shining a light on the talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
In July 2018, the Flame of Hope marked the first 50 years of Special Olympics — and lighted the way to a bright future of a welcoming and inclusive world for all.
The flame was lit in downtown Chicago on 20 July, the day the first Special Olympics International Games were held in 1968 at Soldier Field. A team of runners — with and without intellectual disabilities —carried the torch along a 1.5 mile path passing Chicago’s scenic landmarks, parks and beaches along Lake Michigan.
The run concluded after entering Soldier Field, the grand stadium of the “Golden Age of Sports.” The Commemorative Run team then delivered the torch to the ceremonial lighting of the Eternal Flame of Hope Monument.
More than 400 individuals made up of law enforcement personnel, Special Olympics athletes, families and supporters participated in this historical event and helped raise $30,000 for Special Olympics!