A day before Eunice Kennedy Shriver died, there was a news report that Pope Benedict XVI was praying for her. Was is because she hailed from perhaps the most famous American family? I like to believe it's because of the incredible movement this woman began that has changed so much for people whose lives are often more difficult than they should be.
Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1968. She had a close connection to people with intellectual disabilities. Her sister was mentally retarded. An article about Shriver said she hoped one million people would someday take part in the event. Today, three million athletes participate in Special Olympics worldwide.
The Special Olympics has helped pave the way to enriching the lives of people with various levels of ability. You have to wonder if there would have been a pageant for girls who have disabilities in Ayden earlier this year if were not for what Shriver started. You have to wonder if all the programs to enrich the lives of people who live with disabilities would be as extensive and as wonderful as they are today.
Shriver opened the 1968 Special Olympics with the words that are still the oath of the Special Olympics today: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." Words that all of us can learn from.
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