The Illinois Special Olympics begin today (Friday) at Illinois State University in Normal. At a Governor’s Mansion barbecue Thursday to celebrate the event, Gov. Pat Quinn lent a historic perspective. Quinn said, “I know Anne Burke, who is one of the founders, (is) now a justice on our Supreme Court. The Kennedy family (was) there from the very beginning” in 1968, when the first Special Olympics took place at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Click for Summary

 The Special Olympics are for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Quinn also told the story of Special Olympian Marcy Bobell of Auburn, now a global ambassador for the organization. At age 9, Quinn said, she passed up a chance to finish first in a race to help another contestant who had fallen.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/