This Kennedy truly was “Special” and it had nothing to do with politics. A real winner in life in so many respects has passed.
“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Founder of Special Olympics and the sister of the late JFK has passed away at the age of 88. She had been hospitalized since last week in critical condition. Sadly, one of the true champions of special needs and the mentally disabled has died. With family members at her side at the Cape Cod hospital in Barnstable, Massachusetts, Eunice Kennedy Shriver passed away.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver is survived by two siblings, her husband, Robert Sargent Shriver Jr., five children, including NBC reporter and California first lady Maria Shriver, and 19 grandchildren. The is also survived by the millions of Special Olympians that have taken part in Special Olympics and the present 3.1 million people with mental disabilities who participate in 228 programs in 170 countries.
Rest in Peace and Thank you!
“I love to be with my special friends, and I like to learn from them and their persistence, and their guts, and their courage,” Shriver said of her work with athletes with disabilities. “This is the future.”
Listen to some inspirational words from Eunice Kennedy Shriver,
There was no greater champion for those with disabilities. Shriver was inspired by her older sister, Rosemary Kennedy, who was mentally handicapped when she helped form and was the spirit behind the Special Olympics.
In her book about Special Olympics, “Hearts of Gold,” author Sheila Dinn writes: “In the summer of 1962, 100 young people with mental retardation came to Mrs. Shriver’s camp to run, swim, play soccer, and ride horses. They enjoyed the camp and loved the sports they learned, and by the end of the summer they were ‘faster and stronger’ than ever before. The doctors and experts had been wrong!”
The first Special Olympics took place in 1968. In a comment from that first event Eunice Kennedy Shriver said the following, “Special Olympics teaches that all human beings are created equal, in the sense that each has the capacity and a hunger for moral excellence, for courage, for friendship and for love.” Some thing that many of us need to remember.
“If I (had) never met Rosemary, never known anything about handicapped children, how would I have ever found out? Because nobody accepted them anyplace,” she told National Public Radio in 2007
Statement from Special Olympics:
“We are tremendously grateful for the extreme outpouring of support and prayer from the public as we honor our beloved founder,” Special Olympics President and Chief Operation Officer Brady Lum said Tuesday in a statement.
“Today we celebrate the life of a woman who had the vision to create our movement. It is an enormous loss, but I know we can rest assured that her legacy will live on through her family, friends, and the millions of people around the world who she touched and transformed.”