July 23, 2013 | SOI General: Headquarters

Happy Birthday, Special Olympics – You Have Made a Big Difference!

By Dr. Stephen Corbin

When Eunice Kennedy Shriver started Special Olympics in 1968, she was proposing a bold strategy that was not understood or welcomed in its time. Intellectual disability (at that time mental retardation) was rarely mentioned, and people with intellectual disability were shunned and hidden away. Shriver’s simple proposition was that if we could shed light on intellectual disability and what people with intellectual disability could accomplish, inclusion of this population as full participating members of society would result. She used sport, something familiar and comfortable to most people, as a metaphor for striving, succeeding and demonstrating competence and humanity. She got it right. As Special Olympics celebrates its 45th birthday on July 20, 2013, the dramatic results of her bold vision have come to fruition.

About Dr. Stephen Corbin: Senior Vice President, Community Impact
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