Celebrating 50 years of empowerment: 1968-2018
Since 1968, Special Olympics has been changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities. Since 1968, Special Olympics has been changing the world! We are excited to celebrate the movement’s 50th anniversary throughout 2018.
50 Great Moments in Special Olympics History
1968: First Special Olympics Games
On July 20, 1968, 1,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities competed in the first Special Olympics International Games at Soldier Field in Chicago. Six North Carolina athletes attended the 1968 Games, including Marty Sheets.
1970: First Special Olympics competition held in NC
Special Olympics North Carolina held its first Games May 29-31, 1970 in Burlington. 400 athletes and 350 chaperones and parents attended.
1971: SONC is chartered
In November 1971, North Carolina Special Olympics, Inc. is chartered in Burlington to administer the Special Olympics program in North Carolina.
1974: First SONC Games held in Raleigh
In May 1974, the Capital City Jaycees held the first North Carolina Games in Raleigh for nearly 1,400 athletes. Approximately 5,700 athletes in 42 counties compete in Special Olympics at this time.