Special Olympics Celebrates 48 YEARS!
In 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver brought a group of athletes to Chicago & the world was forever changed. July 20th, 2016, we celebrate 48 YEARS of Special Olympics!
It all began in the 1950s and early 1960s, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw how unjustly and unfairly people with intellectual disabilities were treated. She also saw that many children with intellectual disabilities didn’t even have a place to play. She decided to take action. Soon, her vision began to take shape, as she held a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her own backyard. The goal was to learn what these children could do in sports and other activities – and not dwell on what they could not do. Throughout the 1960s, Eunice Kennedy Shriver continued her pioneering work -- both as the driving force behind President John F. Kennedy's White House panel on people with intellectual disabilities and as the director of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. Her vision and drive for justice eventually grew into the Special Olympics movement.
The latest census numbers show Special Olympics has expanded its reach to more than 4.5 million athletes worldwide. In one year alone, more than 94,000 Special Olympics events and competitions were held all around the world.