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Special Olympics
by Mel June 1st 2010, 05:22 AM

Article featured in Avatar - Volume 3, Issue 11 (May 2010).

Special Olympics
By Katrina

Many of us see Special Olympics related programs at our schools or places of employment. In theory, it's great, but in practice, it's far more inspiring than even describable! Think about it, the Special Olympics is giving athletic opportunities to individuals who would not have the same opportunities with any other organization. What's more important than the athletic opportunities given to these individuals, though, is the opportunities they're given to grow both physically and emotionally, and the opportunities to establish life-long friendships with others.

It all started in June of 1962 as a summer day camp organized by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. A little over six years later, this summer camped geared towards addressing the needs of children and adults with intellectual abilities had grown into the 1st International Special Olympics Summer Games, including over 1,000 individuals from both the United States and Canada. The organization really turned heads when it held the first Special Olympics Winter Games. From there out, news stations from across the United States began to cover the events and the organization, informing people of the great things this organization was doing. As more people found out about Special Olympics, it became bigger and bigger.

Most recently, Special Olympics has expanded to gain the support of popular musicians and was able to release it's seventh annual Christmas CD with proceeds benefiting the organization and allowing them to continue their amazing journey. In August of 2009, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder, unfortunately passed away, but received massive amounts of letters and stories from people all over the world sharing what a great impact Special Olympics made on each and every one of them. Though Shriver is not able to continue the good works she set out to do with Special Olympics, the baton has been passed to many amazing individuals who will continue what she started, and her legacy lives on forever.
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