Chairperson of Special Olympics South Africa, Dr Mathews Phosa turned the Nelson Mandela statue red as part of the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration. Nelson Mandela, along with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation, worked closely with Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver to bring Special Olympics to South African soil.

“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” said Chairman of Special Olympics Dr Mathews Phosa.

“Tonight landmarks, stadia and iconic buildings around the world will turn RED in a global act of unity,” said Chairman of Special Olympics South Africa Dr Mathews Phosa. “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.
A great turn out saw a number of celebrity ambassadors and supporters taking a stand for inclusion in support of Special Olympics South Africa.

In addition to the Nelson Mandela statue, more than 70 landmarks worldwide will participate in the Light Up for Inclusion initiative.

Major global landmarks participating in Light Up for Inclusion include:

  1. ADNOC HQ building & YAS Viceroy Hotel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  2. African Renaissance Monument, Dakar, Senegal
  3. Amman Citadel, Amman, Jordan
  4. London Eye & Piccadilly sign, London, UK
  5. Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea
  6. The Royal Palace, Bucharest, Romania
  7. Angel of Independence, Mexico City, Mexico
  8. Administration Building Panama Canal, Panama
  9. Niagara Falls, USA and Canada
  10. Prudential Buildings, Willis Tower & more, Chicago, USA
  11. Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
  12. Superdome, New Orleans, USA
  13. The Esplanade & Singapore Flyer, Singapore
  14. The Water Cute, Beijing, China

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, which were 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.


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