“IT IS fitting that as we celebrate 50 years of Special Olympics and the legacy of our founder that we also celebrate Nelson Mandela’s centenary year,” says Dr Matthews Phosa, chairperson of Special Olympics South Africa.
He spoke at the Nelson Mandela statue red event, as part of the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration held at the Sandton Square.
“Landmarks, stadia and iconic buildings around the world will turn red in a global act of unity,” he continued. This is a global demonstration of tolerance, respect and a celebration of difference.
This act also represents the dawn of the Inclusion Revolution which is Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities (ID) worldwide and create inclusive communities,” says Phosa, a businessman and ANC senior member.
Light Up for Inclusion is part of the action-packed Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration taking place in Chicago from July 17-21.
Chicago is the birthplace of the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, held at Soldier Field in July 1968.
“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.”
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.
At the ceremony in Sandton a number of celebrity ambassadors and supporters took a stand for inclusion in support of Special Olympics South Africa.
Major global landmarks participating in Light Up for Inclusion include:
- ADNOC HQ building & YAS Viceroy Hotel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- African Renaissance Monument, Dakar, Senegal
- Amman Citadel, Amman, Jordan
- London Eye & Piccadilly sign, London, UK
- Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea
- The Royal Palace, Bucharest, Romania
- Angel of Independence, Mexico City, Mexico
- Administration Building Panama Canal, Panama
- Niagara Falls, USA and Canada
- Prudential Buildings, Willis Tower & more, Chicago, USA
- Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
- Superdome, New Orleans, USA
- The Esplanade & Singapore Flyer, Singapore
- The Water Cute, Beijing, China