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Gibraltar joins global celebration of Special Olympics’ ‘inclusion revolution’

Gibraltar will join some 170 other locations across the world on Friday to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics.

Moorish Castle will be lit up in red, along with other landmarks around the globe including the London Eye in London, the Olympic Stadium in Berlin and Krymsky Bridge in Moscow, where the world cup finals have only this weekend just been held.

Niagara Falls in North America, The Angel of Independence in Mexico City, Sydney Opera House in Australia and The Water Cube in Beijing will be among other major landmarks to be lit up.

Special Olympics Gibraltar announced the “light up” of Moorish Castle yesterday as it highlighted “that major landmarks, stadia and iconic buildings around the world, including Gibraltar's very own Moorish Castle will turn red in a global display of unity on July 20th as part of the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration. The act represents the dawn of the "Inclusion Revolution", Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities worldwide and create inclusive communities”
“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.” In addition to the Moorish Castle, more than 170 landmarks worldwide – including over 40 in Europe/Eurasia – will participate in the Light Up for Inclusion initiative, creating a global display of tolerance, respect and celebration of difference.

Light Up for Inclusion is part of the action-packed Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebrations. Chicago USA was the birthplace of the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, which were held at Soldier Field in July 1968. 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.

Special Olympics Gibraltar will be celebrating by holding a black-tie gala dinner in November. Local National Director Annie Risso said "As Special Olympics International celebrates its 50th anniversary we here in Gibraltar celebrate our 33rd anniversary and the 30th anniversary of our Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Gibraltar. We are very proud to have been one of the first such organisations to set up in Europe and look forward to many more years of serving Gibraltar citizens with intellectual disabilities".

Special Olympics Gibraltar will also be attending a small nations football tournament in San Marino next month. They will also host the Gareth Cowin Football Tournament again in November before they once again head off to participate in the Special Olympics World Summer Games which will be held in Abu Dhabi from March 14-21, 2019.

“Fifty years ago in Chicago, Special Olympics began its mission to break down barriers and create a more inclusive world at the first ever International Summer Games,” said Mary Davis, Special Olympics International CEO. “As we charge into the next 50 years with a renewed purpose of ending discrimination, we are encouraging people across the globe to join us and help create a fully inclusive world.”

The lighting up of Moorish Castle will this week see Special Olympics Gibraltar athletes, committee members and supporters gather at Casemates Square at 9.30 pm on Friday to celebrate the 50th Anniversary Moorish Castle is lit up.

Samantha Sacramento, the Minister for Equality, said: “Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is very honoured to associate itself with the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics Movement and very proud to be lighting up the Castle for this very important occasion.”

Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5 million athletes and Unified partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year.

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