Calling all High School Students (Parents, Teachers, and School Administrators)

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® Launches Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge: Demonstrate Leadership to Win a Trip to 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

WASHINGTON, DC – November 19, 2018: Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is calling all U.S. high school students (20 years or younger) to enter the Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Challenge and earn the chance to represent the United States as a Youth Leader at the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Games.

As our founder, my mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver demonstrated throughout her life that everyone has the power to inspire the world—to be more inclusive—in just a few words. That’s the challenge. We can’t wait to experience your entries and to see who will earn the chance to attend the World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International

To enter, applicants must record a 2 – 3 minute speech on what inclusion means to them and post the video to social media using the hashtag #EKSChallenge and tagging @SONorthAmerica. You must be following @SONorthAmerica on the social media platform you used to post your entry. The contest ends on December 7, 2018. Individuals or Unified pairs, consisting of one person with intellectual disabilities and one without, are encouraged to enter. Click here for more information about the challenge.

In the world-changing quest to create Special Olympics, SOI founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, spoke out for a cause that was often ignored and underrepresented in her time: the inclusion of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. She believed that through training and competing in sports, athletes would realize their potential for incredible growth. At the first Special Olympics International Summer Games 50 years ago, Mrs. Shriver asked the athletes to be brave in the attempt.

An internal committee of Special Olympics International staff will choose the video whose speech best represents the pioneering spirit of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and inspires the #UnifiedGeneration. This challenge is supported and funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Microsoft, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium. Learn more at

Media Contact

Elise Calanni
Special Olympics International
P: (443) 995-6556

Carolyn Phillips
Special Olympics International
P: (202) 824-0293