“One Special Olympian”

Eunie Shriver, a member of the famous Kennedy family, was buried today.  She started the Special Olympics.  Suddenly today I realized that there had been a time when it seemed atheletic competition and winning were understood in terms of a fairly closed set of goals.  She changed that.

The title above is from an article by Lawrence Downes, who writes

Mentally disabled people don’t catch many breaks. The world isn’t made for children who grow old before they grow up. The slow spread of tolerance hasn’t outraced indignity and neglect. People have always mocked the retarded, especially those who like to take credit for their own intelligence.

But there is one island of inclusion: the Special Olympics. They are the pride and inspiration of millions. They exist because Eunice Shriver, who had a retarded sister she greatly admired, insisted on looking differently at disability. She offered love without pity, a chance to race and win, and to win just by racing.

4 thoughts on ““One Special Olympian”

  1. I was just thinking about her today in this context – Eunice Shriver made a huge difference in the lives of a great many people, and I had been taking that for granted.

  2. Her legacy is remarkable. And for a reminder of what Special Olympics means and has meant to its participants, I invite you to check out this short video — ahamoment.com/pg/moments/view/3512 — about the aha moment of one athlete and what Special Olympics has affected her life. All the best — jack@ahamoment.com

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