The Special Olympics go back to 1962 when the sister of US President J.F. Kennedy organized summer camps for people with mental disabilities. Eunice Kennedy Shriver quickly realized that exercise opened up more opportunities in life. The disability of her sister Rosemary was the starting point for her initiative. When Eunice published this in an article, it was a turning point in the public discussion about people with disabilities. The founding of the Special Olympics in 1968 was the completion of a vision.
Millions Of Athletes From All Over The World
The first International Summer Games of the Special Olympics saw 1,000 participants from just two countries compete. Initially, only athletes from the USA and Canada were there. But the Special Olympics developed over the decades into a globally recognized and admired event. Many prominent members of the Kennedy clan were partly responsible for this. Today the Special Olympics reach an incredible 5.2 million athletes from 174 countries around the world. They have become a comprehensive sports movement for people with mental and physical impairments. The International Olympic Committee has long since officially recognized them. It is the only organization that is allowed to use the protected term Olympics in its title. The goals of the movement have not changed since Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded it fifty-two years ago. She wants to give people with disabilities the recognition and self-confidence that they deserve through sport. In this way, they can participate even more in society and get involved.
Today the Special Olympics are played as world games. Summer and winter games alternate every two years. The next 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games will take place in Åre and Östersund, Sweden. The following Special Olympics World Games 2023 will take place in Berlin. The organizers expect thousands of participants from all over the world. They will compete in a total of 25 competitions. Together they are the guarantee for a fantastic sports festival that will again inspire many people.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Fighting On The Front Line
A personality who has supported the Special Olympics with all his might for decades is the Austrian actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. The action star is long committed to sports as a balance to everyday life and is considered a pioneer of the movement. He appears personally at the competitions and promotes the goals of the association. The Ambassador of the Special Olympics has become the most prominent supporter. He also demonstrated this publicly a few years ago when the Special Olympics came under attack by an Internet troll. When a user commented negatively about the Special Olympics on the Twitter page of Schwarzenegger, the action star hit back.
The terminator put it aptly, saying that the user can still learn a lot from the athletes in the Special Olympics. After all, they had far more courage, devotion, understanding, skills and humanity than the critic himself. If he followed the path of the athletes, he could benefit from it, or remain a sad and jealous troll that no one would remember. The film star earned a lot of recognition for his commitment and once again proves how important the Special Olympics are to him.