Special Olympics Chicago Spring Games to be held this week

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Eric Franco of Gary Elementary School cheers as he enters Soldier’s Field for the start of the 46th annual Special Olympics Chicago Spring Games opening ceremonies on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. | Sun-Times files

Special Olympians are coming to the city where their games began nearly a half century ago.

Special Olympics Chicago says in a news release that athletes will march into Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday morning and take part in the opening ceremonies for the 47th annual Special Olympics Chicago Spring Games.

White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija will serve as the honorary coach for the day and declare the start of the games by leading the athletes in the Special Olympics Oath.

More than 3,500 athletes will compete in more than 25 track and field events in the games that will be held at Eckersall Park and Stadium from Tuesday through Friday.

Special Olympics was started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and the first international games were in 1968.

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