Chicago Opens 45th Annual Special Olympics Spring Games

Chicago Bear J'Marcus Webb to declare the official opening of this year's Special Olympics Spring Games

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    Special Olympics athletes will compete in athletics (track and field), basketball, cycling, gymnastics, soccer and tennis.

    Chicago Bears lineman J'Marcus Webb joins thousands of Special Olympians Tuesday to kick off the annual Spring Games at Soldier Field.

    Hundreds of families, spectators and volunteers will be on hand to cheer on the 3,300 athletes as they walk onto the field to mark the 45th Special Olympics Spring Games during the 10 a.m. ceremony.

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    The Special Olympics was born in Chicago, and several athletes who participated in the first Games 45 years ago at Soldier Field will be acknowledged during the ceremony.

    Webb, an honorary coach for this year's Games, will declare the official opening of this year's event, which includes more than 25 track and field games. More than 4 million athletes now participate in 120 countries.

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    A crew of familiar NBC 5 faces were just some of the thousands who braved the icy waters of Lake Michigan Sunday for the annual Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Chicago. (Published Monday, March 4, 2013)

    Chicago's events will be held Wednesday through Friday at Eckersall Stadium, at 2423 E. 82nd St.