Special Olympics has been advocating for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for half a century, and it all started right here in Chicago. The first event was held at Soldier Field in 1968 and what followed was a movement that expanded sports programs to support aspiring athletes around the globe. As Chicago’s Bank, we’re proud to recognize the founding chapter of this amazing organization with a spot on our Mural Building to bring the 50th anniversary celebration full circle.
As you pass by this mural, you’ll see a colorful mix of Special Olympic athletes showing off their skills and teamwork along with a simple, yet powerful message: the revolution is inclusion. A competition like this symbolizes more than just a bronze, silver, or gold medal; it’s about embracing what makes us different and inspiring others to do their best. And, it takes a unique kind of strength do that. This is evident through not only the dedication of the athletes, but also the tireless work of sports officials and volunteers who continue to offer leadership, education, training, healthcare, research, and fundraising to empower these Special Olympians and help them achieve their dreams.
We honor those who continue to overcome the odds, defy expectations, and embrace their individuality. This is the heart of Special Olympics Chicago. These are the champions worth celebrating. And, this is what makes them truly special.