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Moving Forward: A Special Olympics Athlete's TedX Talk

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Adam Hays of Special Olympics Maryland in front of TEDX TowsonU sign

Thirty years after Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver posed a series of powerful questions, Special Olympics Maryland athlete leader Adam Hays answered. And his TEDX talk showed the impact of Special Olympics on his life. 

Hays referred to Eunice Kennedy Shriver's "You Are the Stars" speech and how it has helped guide him to achieve all that he has been able to achieve. 

 Hays alternated between quoting questions posed by the founder of Special Olympics and his own answers. 

"'The right to play on any playing field?' You betcha….How about fields….and courts...and roadways and pools and mountains. How about the seven sports I participate in throughout the year. I road cycle over 1200 miles a year."   

"'The right to study in any school?' Check. I earned my high school diploma and then my associates degree in visual communications.   

"'The right to hold a job?' I just celebrated my 10th anniversary at Special Olympics Maryland. 

"'The right to be anyone's neighbor?' Recently I passed my first full year living on my own in MY apartment."

Hays was the first athlete with an intellectual disability to deliver a TEDX talk in Maryland. The night hosted by Towson University on 11 May had the theme FORWARD. 

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Watch video of Adam's talk