An advocate for children, Eunice Kennedy Shriver began hosting camps for children with intellectual disabilities at their family estate. She believed that if given the same opportunity and experiences as every one else, people with intellectual disabilities could accomplish far more than anyone ever thought they could. In 1968 she helped organize the 1st Special Olympics event in Chicago. In her remarks at the Opening Ceremony, she said the inaugural Chicago Special Olympics prove "a very fundamental fact” -- that children with intellectual disabilities can be exceptional athletes and that "through sports they can realize their potential for growth.” She pledged that this new organization, Special Olympics, would offer people with intellectual disabilities everywhere “the chance to play, the chance to compete and the chance to grow.”
- "In ancient Rome, the gladiators went into the arena with these words on their lips: let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. Today, all of you young athletes are in the arena. Many of you will win. But even more important, I know you will be brave and bring credit to your parents and to your country. Let us begin the Olympics, thank you.
Special Olympics Toledo Public was starting in spring of 2002 at McTigue Jr. High with 25 students by Julie McIntyre and Sue Hess. The 1st year we competed in Track & Field at Napoleon School Age Special Olympics Track Meet and an exhibition competition at Start HS during an all City Jr. High Track Meet.
You can find out more about the history of Special Olympics at: http://www.specialolympics.org/