Flanked by political and community leaders of Chicago including Mayor Richard Daley, Eunice declares the first Special Olympics Games open. Learn more about the 1968 Games.
Eunice meets and congratulates a number of athletes from the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Institute, the foundation for the benefit of people with intellectual disabilities that funded the first games. Learn more about the 1968 Games.
The 1968 games included track and field, swimming and diving, and a variety of other sports, setting the stage for the Special Olympics World Games to come in later years. Learn more about the 1968 Games.
Then as now, volunteers coordinate every athletic event, providing essential support that makes the scale of the World Games--and the movement itself--possible. Learn more about the 1968 Games.
At the first Games, and at every Special Olympics games ever since, spectators have surprised and gratified by the superior athletic skills some athletes demonstrate. Learn more about the 1968 Games.
Life guards surrounded the swimming competition in a pool specially erected for the event. Learn more about the 1968 Games.
When needed, extra help is provided for those athletes who require it, a notion that underlies the Special Olympics goal of helping each athlete reach his or her potential. Learn more about the 1968 Games.
For the first time in history, people with intellectual disabilities were placed on a podium and publicly rewarded in recognition of their athletic abilities. Special Olympics marks the anniversary of the 1968 games every year. Learn more about the 1968 Games.
In 1968, the first Special Olympics Games were held in Chicago, moving Mayor Richard Daley to predict, "The world will never be the same after this."