Athens – July 20th, 2018 – Special Olympics announced today that major landmarks, stadia and iconic buildings around the world, including the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), will turn RED in a global display of unity on July 20 as part of the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration. The act represents the dawn of the Inclusion Revolution—Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities (ID) worldwide and create inclusive communities.
“We are grateful for the tremendous support to help celebrate and raise awareness for people with intellectual disabilities regardless of where they live in the world,” said Special Olympics International Chairman, Timothy Shriver. “Light Up for Inclusion symbolizes the continuation and evolution of Special Olympics’ mission.”
In addition to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center more than 170 landmarks worldwide – including over 40 in Europe Eurasia – will participate in the Light Up for Inclusion initiative, creating a global display of tolerance, respect and celebration of difference.
Major global landmarks participating in Light Up for Inclusion include Niagara Falls in the USA and Canada, The Angel of Independence in Mexico City, Sydney Opera House and The Water Cube in Beijing. Landmarks that are lighting up in Europe Eurasia include, but are not limited to:
- Stavros Niarchos Foundation Culture Centre, Athens, Greece
- Coca-Cola London Eye & Piccadilly sign, London, UK
- Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland
- Moorish Castle, Gibraltar
- The Dom Tower, Utrecht, The Netherlands
- Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal
- Pyramidenkogel Tower, Carinthia, Austria
- Maschio Angioino of Naples, Campania, Italy
- Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany
- PGE Narodowy Stadium, Warsaw, Poland
- National Art Museum, Bucharest, Romania
- Bosphorus Bridge, Turkey
- Dnipro Bridge, Kyiv, Ukraine
- Krymsky Bridge, Moscow, Russia
- Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
- Khan Shatyr, Astana, Kazakhstan
Browse the full list of Light Up for Inclusion landmarks around the world here.
Light Up for Inclusion is part of the action-packed Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration taking place in Chicago, USA from July 17-21. Chicago is the birthplace of the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, which were held at Soldier Field Stadium in July 1968.
Special Olympics athletes, coaches, supporters and celebrities from around the globe will gather in Chicago for the 50th Anniversary to commemorate 50 years of joy, courage and empowerment, and participate in a weekend filled with inspiring events.
The inaugural Unified Soccer Cup presented by Toyota at CIBC Fire Pitch and TOYOTA Park will take place from July 17-20 in Chicago, featuring players with and without intellectual disabilities competing together. The Commemorative Law Enforcement Torch Run will occur on Friday, July 20, featuring hundreds of law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes from around the world. The four-mile run will conclude with the lighting of the Eternal Flame of Hope outside of Soldier Field. To wrap up the celebration, Special Olympics will host a Global Day of Inclusion at Soldier Field, a family-friendly celebration featuring sports, interactive games, exhibits, food and live entertainment, and the 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert featuring Chance the Rapper, Usher, Francis & the Lights, Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz and O.A.R. More information can be found here.
“Fifty years ago in Chicago, Special Olympics began its mission to break down barriers and create a more inclusive world at the first ever International Summer Games,” said Mary Davis, Special Olympics International CEO. “As we charge into the next 50 years with a renewed purpose of ending discrimination, we are encouraging people across the globe to join us and help create a fully inclusive world.”
Upcoming Special Olympics events
Special Olympics 50th celebrations will continue in Azerbaijan in between September 24 and 28 when the city of Baku hosts a groundbreaking Special Olympics Global Youth Leadership Forum, ushering in a new era of youth-led social impact projects.
The next Special Olympics World Summer Games will take place in Abu Dhabi from March 14-21, 2019. Over 7,000 Special Olympics athletes representing over 170 countries from around the world will compete.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5 million athletes and Unified partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International, Microsoft, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org. #LightUpForInclusion
Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
About Special Olympics Hellas
Special Olympics Hellas is the largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Greece. The mission of Special Olympics Hellas is to provide year-round training and competitions to athletes and Unified Sports partners, empower people with ID and their families throughout Greece. With the support of coaches and volunteers Special Olympics Hellas deliver 26 Olympic Type sports. Special Olympics Hellas competitions are held every year—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 100 events a year. Special Olympics movement gives the athletes continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Engage with us on: Instagram, Facebook Learn more at www.SpecialOlympicsHellas.gr #SOHellas