“You are the stars, and the world is watching you. By your presence, you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory.”
– Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Today is the sixth annual Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day. It honors Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS), the founder of Special Olympics and someone who truly showed that one person can change the world. Special Olympics started as a summer day camp for people with intellectual disabilities held in her backyard. At that time, people with intellectual disabilities weren’t treated with respect or as members of the community, and there were no sports open to them.
Throughout the years, Special Olympics has continued to change athletes’ lives by providing Olympic-style sporting competitions, working to end the use of the R word, and becoming the world’s largest public health organization that treats individuals with intellectual disabilities. Today, Special Olympics serves over 4.4 million athletes in more than 170 countries, and it is all because of Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s dream.
Special Olympics writes, “Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day is celebrated around the world in an effort to honor her life and impact and share her story to inspire new fans. We hope to inspire people of all ages to follow her example and commit themselves to improving the world for people with intellectual disabilities.” This day is a call to action for people around the world to make society more unified in sports, the community, and at work. It is so inspiring to continue her legacy by working at Special Olympics New York.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a remarkable person who fully embodied the ideas of the Olympic movement. She lived according to her key values of love, justice, faith, hope, and courage, and by doing so, she changed the lives of over 4.4 million people with intellectual disabilities. She was a hero, and through Special Olympics, her heroism lives on.
For More Information on EKS Day and Special Olympics
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