On the morning of October 23, 2010 hundreds of Best Buddies and Special Olympics supporters will cycle, run and walk the streets of Washington, D.C. at the National Mall to honor the legacy of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
The inaugural Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge presented by Audi features a 20-mile bike ride on closed roads through DC, the Carl Lewis Challenge 5K run/3K walk, a youth fun run, and a series of Criterium Races.
Following the athletic events there will be a victory celebration and private luncheon. The entire day will be focused around inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and the global movement that Eunice Kennedy Shriver made her life’s work. The awareness and funds raised through the Challenge will further support the programs of Best Buddies and Special Olympics International.
The 20-mile cycling route starts by heading up Constitution Avenue before moving to Independence Avenue as it passes Robert F. Kennedy Stadium and crosses into Anacostia Park along the Anacostia River. The route then goes over the Frederick Douglass Bridge and past Nationals Park before looping by East Potomac Park and past the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, and finally culminating at the Washington Monument. The other events will all start and conclude at the Washington Monument as well, and entire families are encouraged to join in the spirit of athletics and inclusion.
Special Olympics, a global organization that uses sports as a catalyst to change society's perceptions and treatment of people with intellectual disabilities, is working closely on the EKS Challenge with Best Buddies. Best Buddies is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with IDD.
Best Buddies participants and Special Olympics athletes have reached many milestones over the last decades. However, there are many areas of the country and regions of the world that still lack programs to help people with IDD become a part of mainstream society. Together, Best Buddies and Special Olympics have taken the torch from Eunice Kennedy Shriver to become the driving force supporting the nation's disabilities rights movement.
Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and his Buddy Ken Holden – a former Special Olympics Athlete – are the honorary co-chairs of the event. Join Ted, Ken, Mayor Adrian Fenty, members of the Shriver family, politicians, celebrities, Best Buddies and Special Olympics at this amazing event by registering here: www.ekschallenge.org. For more information, please visit that website or e-mail Jeremiah Morrowjmorrow@specialolympics.org.