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Cunningham resolution celebrates Special Olympics milestone, honors athletes’ accomplishments

cunningham 061318CHICAGO – A resolution presented by State Senator Bill Cunningham celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics and congratulates Special Olympic athletes, past and present, on their accomplishments.

“As athletes and organizers from all over the world prepare to convene in Chicago to celebrate the Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary, I’m privileged to present Senate Resolution 1796 to commemorate the athletes who have carried this movement for their continuous inspiration over the past 50 years and to encourage the next generation of athletes and volunteers to get involved,” Cunningham said.

While the official 2018 Special Olympic Games will take place in Seattle this summer, there is a week-long series of events taking place in Chicago from July 17-21 to celebrate the Games’ 50th anniversary and raise awareness and support of the Special Olympics and its “Choose to Include” movement. Over 70,000 athletes and supporters are scheduled to attend.

Earlier this year, the Chicago Park District presented the Eternal Flame of Hope Monument as a permanent tribute to the organization and its athletes. The monument sits at the entrance of Soldier Field, the site of the very first Special Olympics.

The Special Olympics was inaugurated in July of 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of President John F. Kennedy, who invited 1,000 intellectually disabled athletes from 26 states and Canada to Chicago’s Soldier Field to compete in Olympic-style track and field events.

Senator Bill Cunningham

 Cunningham2014

18th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Appropriations II; Gaming; Higher Education (Vice Chairperson); Labor; Telecommunications and Information Technology (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Served in the House from 2011-13; full-time state legislator and lifelong resident of the southwest Chicago area; born July 21, 1967; graduate of Saint Barnabas Grammar School (1981), Mount Carmel High School (1985) and the University of Illinois Chicago (1990); former advisor to Cook CountySheriff Mike Sheahan and former chief of staff to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart; youth soccer coach; parent representative on the Sutherland Local School Council; lives in Beverly with wife, Juliana, and two daughters, Madeline and Olivia.