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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Testimony Before the House Subcommittee on Select Education - "A Vision of VISTA"
    is young people are not informed about the opportunities for helping It doesn t happen in the schools and there s not enough effort coming from their homes their churches or their temples Twenty five years ago when we pledged as a nation to eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty by opening to everyone the opportunity to work and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity we recognized the power of these habits of the heart and the need to harness the energies of volunteerism for the great battles ahead In proposing VISTA Volunteers In Service To America Congress wrote these words into the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 our declaration of War Against Poverty a nationally sponsored program for full time volunteer service will afford an effective means of stimulating greater volunteer activities at all levels will encourage more men and women to pursue the helping professions as a career and will make material contributions toward the elimination of the causes and effects of poverty For twenty five years this is precisely what VISTA and its volunteers have sought to accomplish It s true they haven t been very visible They haven t made headlines I will wager that most Americans don t even know they exist And do you know why For two reasons First because these volunteers work and live where poverty is the greatest On the mean streets of our cities in rural pockets of poverty where the people and the media rarely go Second because after years of struggling to close down and dismantle VISTA there is no longer a national recruiting effort no longer any national advertising of the program Today if you want to enlist in VISTA you have to make all the moves And even when you do chances are that you won t be sent anywhere but into the poverty of your own neighborhood When he got out of College my son Mark tried to join VISTA He couldn t get in He spent weeks trying to find out where to go And when he did locate an office no one was there Today you need the skills of a Houdini to find out that there is such a program as VISTA and then when you get out of that straitjacket there s no one around to applaud And so from a volunteer effort against poverty that was designed to harness the energy and idealism of youth VISTA now is a program in which the average age of its volunteers is 40 and of those volunteers 70 are women most of whom are clients of other anti poverty efforts Don t get me wrong I think it s a marvelous thing to give poor people themselves a chance to join the fight against poverty in fact that has been one of the great strengths of Head Start But to snuff out thousands of points of light even before they have a chance to shine is to

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/testimony-before-the-house-subcommittee-on-select-education-a-vision-of-vista (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Speech at the National Press Club
    It s the only sports program in the world which has no drugs It s the only one that s not nationalistic We don t keep count of how many medals or points Japan has won or Indonesia has won or China has won or the United States has won or the Soviet Union has won or France has won We don t keep those scores We don t raise flags We don t play national anthems We re not celebrating nations We re celebrating people Persons Human beings with mental retardation Families play an integral role in Special Olympics At the Games in Louisiana 6 or 7 years ago 5 000 family members came to those games in a relatively small town called Baton Rouge in Louisiana Every one of those people was housed fed and transported free of charge by the citizens of that town Baton Rouge Louisiana We estimate that may be as many as 15 000 family members will go to Minneapolis St Paul in 1991 and every one of them will be a guest of individual families in St Paul No money no bills no charges Every athlete in Special Olympics participates free They don t have to pay a fee to anybody And neither do their families have to pay a fee 85 of all the coaches coach for nothing Officials who shoot the starting guns or clock the time do it for nothing There s something like 500 000 volunteers who do that work for nothing Mentally retarded people are being coached and playing for Special Olympics everyday of every year in every continent While we re sitting here talking you re listening there are people participating in Special games in Argentina or Chile Or in Poland Or in China Or in Hong Kong Or in India Because Special Olympic training and games go on all year long every year every day everywhere There is no sports program like that Even if you include the most popular sport in the world soccer or football there s not as many people participating in them as in Special Olympics Special Olympics starts off for people who can barely crawl on the floor they are so mentally retarded And they are even taught how to throw a tennis ball from me to that table where those pink carnations are in that bowl for them to be able to do that is a colossal achievement But they re human beings and you can see on their face what a thrill it is to be able to throw a tennis ball that far So we start with people who are as weak who are unqualified athletically as they are And we go to youngsters and older people who can throw a basketball probably better than anybody in the room And they play on teams we call Unified Teams where persons with mental retardation are on the same team with persons who are not mentally retarded and they play

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/speech-at-the-national-press-club (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Talking Points for Canadian Speech
    for both the athletes and their families to see hopelessness replaced by fun joy and activity As Special Olympics evolved competition has come to have a very special meaning Since we want the athletes to experience success competitors are carefully matched so that each individual has a real chance to win at the same time every effort is made to motivate the athletes to reach their maximum personal potential What began in our family backyard over twenty years ago has involved several million children and adults Last year about 385 000 athletes participated in the United States and another 189 000 in other countries It is a major achievement but we recognize that there are many millions of other retarded persons who can and should have the benefits of this program First a bit of history SOI began with several annual grants from the Kennedy Foundation It has always been our policy at the national level to seek private rather than public financial support Since 1987 when the Kennedy Foundation grants ended SOI in cooperation with our state Chapters and various National committees major corporations and private donors supplemented by special events and direct solicitation of funds has raised sufficient funds to more than quadruple the program I pause here to make it very clear that the heart and soul of Special Olympics is its volunteers I venture to say that if their time were given a value more than ninety 90 percent of our total costs come from donated services and support That level of effort needs to be expanded as we reach out to other countries I believe the basic responsibility for supporting Special Olympics within the United States should be met entirely by corporations and individuals within the United States Where we need help is in the development of programs in other parts of the world I think that perhaps Canada has not only the capacity but the commitment to find funding for programs for its own citizens In that connection I want again to compliment Al Bolin Frank Celke Jr and other Canadian citizens for the work they have already done and emphasize the importance of expanding the Canadian efforts At SOI however our job is to find ways to create and support programs in many other nations some of which live with serious economic problems We presently have activities in 78 countries where National committees expenditures are approaching 9 million a year I would say that less than a third of these currently have the capacity to go it alone in developing Special Olympics programs Recognizing this SOI has expanded its services and support outside the United States to cover over 20 of activities outside the United States Proud as we are of these joint efforts they are only a fraction of what can and should be done as Special Olympics meets requests for expansions in new countries as well as the strengthening and expansion of existing programs Our Director of International Programs John Mosher

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/talking-points-for-canadian-speech (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the 93rd Annual National PTA Convention
    3 Hours a week of physical education in the school students spend 13 hours in sports games and exercise outside of school Here too unless such activities are organized and supervised youngsters with mental retardation can t compete aren t chosen for the team they stand on the sidelines waiting to be called And most are never called Never chosen So PL 94 142 has not worked successfully for them I am happy to say however that hundreds of thousands of parents teachers administrators coaches and students themselves are fighting for these equal rights in schools all across America In fact today Special Olympics has spread to about 50 of the nation s 15 744 school systems particularly at the elementary level In these schools Special Olympics training and competition are provided in one of two ways as an integral part of the regular physical education curriculum or as an optional extra curricular activity This means that about 250 000 students are getting some form of Special Olympics Experience at school as part of their total education But this is only a beginning For it means that over 1 million students with special needs are not receiving the Special Olympics experience They are not enjoying the exhilaration and benefit of sports that for them as for every child are their rights For a few moments let us visit in our imaginations two high schools They are in two very different school systems Which one is yours The first school is aware of Special Olympics but it has decided it doesn t need to involve its students Let the regular twice a week gym classes the principal believes are enough And so the 50 students with mental retardation get dressed twice a week in gym clothes For about 40 minutes they do laps around the track or shoot baskets or jog when the weather is good Once in a while a physical education teacher comes over to see how they are doing But he s got his hands full with the regular phys ed program and hasn t the time for the special attention these students need After school when pick up games are organized these students are never chosen When their school teams play other schools they are expected to sit in the stands and cheer Of course they can t be expected to make the team When varsity letters are given out they can only applaud The rich and varied sports experience of high school passes them completely by Now come with me to another high school Its 50 special students also get the same physical education program as every other student receives But that s only the beginning of their sports experience Both during and after school they get special training in their individual Special Olympics sports activities Special Olympics has trained their teachers to work with them during school hours and provided volunteer coaches for the after school program To assure the best training in the most sports Special Olympics has produced Sports Skills Training Guides for each of the 22 sports Throughout the year Special Olympics offers several chances for competition in these sports with other students of their own age and ability And there s more There s a Partner s Club in the school that brings Special Olympians and their classmates together for joint training sessions talk about sports coaching and friendship In fact this spring they organized a Unified softball team with half of the players volunteers from the student body and half Special Olympians This summer they ll play in a town wide Unified Softball League And that s still not all At the Annual Sports Assembly the Special Olympians were called to the platform to receive their varsity letters for excellence in their Special Olympics events They were applauded as athletes by the rest of the student body In the 1989 year book they have a whole double page spread with their names and pictures and stories of their accomplishments Which of these schools are your children attending Which school is doing the best job of demonstrating the belief that Every child is our child Think beyond that one school or those fortunate 50 students Think what that total integrating experience means not only to them and their families but to every other student in the school Not just now or until graduation but for the rest of their lives To quote from one of your early PTA leaders Even the most carefully protected child must once grown live in the world That is the greatest gift Special Olympics gives to all of us It gives every student regardless of differences in intellect or skill the training the experience the compassion the wisdom to live in this world as citizens together in a community that cares Let s not kid ourselves Even in our amazing democracy the person with mental retardation is not going to find an easy welcome and automatic acceptance into our world of work of play of community life of full participation in justice and equality If our schools don t provide a laboratory of understanding and community acceptance it will never happen in later life There are too many obstacles too many stereotypes and prejudices to overcome when the Unified School becomes the segregated community Nor can we take refuge in our noble traditions or in the idealized language of our founding documents For the fact is that persons with mental retardation can t make the same claims to equality as other groups They can t claim to have the same learning capacity the same level of conceptual thought or the same long range goals No Equal opportunity for persons with mental retardation will not remove the differences that separate them as people Differences will remain differences that are visible and sometimes painful But Special Olympics can do much to reduce the distance that separates us and make our differences count for much less And so can

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-the-93rd-annual-national-pta-convention (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Speech to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association Annual Conference
    we can have our senses dulled over the years We don t really see We need to be shown In every society there is a tendency for those getting along pretty well not to be sensitive to the human problems the poor confront every day That s a universal truth It was true in Biblical times it s true tonight In the 1964 Presidential campaign Barry Goldwater said in West Virginia that he had traveled all across America and he hadn t seen any poverty He told the truth He hadn t seen any poverty Like most of us he had been driving on the freeways Today I leave my house in Potomac Maryland and drive ten miles to my office in downtown Washington Enroute I see more Jaguars than poor people I work in a comfortable office all day and then I drive back out the Parkway to Potomac If I wanted to I could honestly believe there is no poverty But I know better the War Against Poverty taught me that The point is that most of us are insulated from reality we are restricted in our vision We don t always see the human suffering around us Whether it s me or Bill Wirtz or whoever it s intellectually impossible to be continually on the cutting edge We have to be shown the way For example many people believe America is now enjoying prosperous times George Bush thinks so Many people believe Ronald Reagan was a successful President But the number of poor people in America during the Reagan Bush years has been the highest in twenty years Almost a whole generation of poor people created by Reagan and being perpetuated by Bush The number of poor people has escalated under Reagan and Bush Even under Nixon and Ford and Carter the record was better These depressing facts are another reason why a strong well funded Legal Services program is so vital The purpose of the Legal Services program is so vital The purpose of the Legal Services program when we started it twenty five years ago was to deploy bright lawyers around the country whose job would be to keep their ears their eyes and their hearts open to the difficulties poor people have to face and to make the rest of us see that pain and respond It is an exalted mission a mission of maximum importance to the continued vitality of our democracy I ve often said about the Peace Corps that I was the only draftee in the history of that great volunteer movement Kennedy made me do it And when it came to OEO President Johnson made me do it Not only did he want me to run the War on Poverty but he wanted me to keep on running the Peace Corps Waging war and peace at the same time Talk about a split personality Mahatma Ghandi in the morning George S Patton after lunch But I can t think of any public servant who ever was given greater opportunities At both the Peace Corps and OEO we started from scratch to build programs that would have profound effect upon the lives of countless millions of people throughout the world in the first instance throughout America in the second We didn t have any blueprints we did it as we went along We weren t bogged down at least in the beginning in a lot of bureaucratic nonsense because there wasn t any bureaucracy We put it together as we worked We took it apart when it failed and put it back together What a great way to run the government We get a good bit of credit even from Republicans for having started Head Start And we get credit for having started the Job Corps and Foster Grandparents and VISTA And I get a lot of credit for having started the Peace Corps But I think Legal Services is probably the most important program I ever started Why Because justice is the heart of a successful civil society Justice is the oxygen of a free society Without liberty and justice for all we don t have a life worth living Justice is more important than health care because physical problems are less important than the psychological and spiritual pain that comes from not being treated fairly Take away the sense of Justice and you have taken away a spiritual quality more important than bread Look at what s happening in Poland today People are enduring incredible economic hardships they are existing on less food in a week than you and I eat in a day And yet their courage and their spirits are very high because they are tasting freedom and justice for the first time in fifty years What s happening in Russia and in fact throughout all of Eastern Europe today is the biggest story of this century I just came back a few weeks ago from the Soviet Union What I saw there is absolute amazing Even the body language of the people is different I ve been to the USSR twenty or thirty times but this time I was taken to visit a monastery in the heart of Moscow a monastery that had been destroyed by Stalin in 1927 Since Perestroika in the last two and one half years it has been completely rebuilt There s a church in the center with all the icons on the walls and all the candles burning The Patriarch was there and his face his physiognomy his bearing his entire being all bore witness to this new openness this new freedom The people who took me there were Communists I didn t go with someone from the underground And these people who were showing me this beautifully restored church were delighted because it is so inspiring it gives everybody joy even to them members of the Communist Party They were breathing the air of freedom and justice and spirituality for the first time in 72 years Power too was being restored to the Russian people power to do what they wanted to do with their bodies minds and souls Legal Services is the principal instrument in this country for releasing poor people from their bondage of powerlessness from a true form of slavery Legal Services brings the promise of liberty and justice alive for all poor Americans 32 million of our fellow citizens But all of us cannot bring justice to the poor every day We need a division of labor But by helping Legal Services we can participate every day in the unending task of creating a more perfect Union and establishing Justice for all Since the day we started however there has been someone somewhere out there gunning to shoot down Legal Services Never before in the history of the Republic has one program of modest cost attracted such an impressive cadre of enemies First there was Spiro Agnew In 1972 then Vice President Agnew wrote a scathing piece in the ABA Journal with the catchy title What s Wrong With Legal Services Not at his alliterative best Agnew referred to Legal Services lawyers as ideological vigilantes Better that than nattering nabobs of negativism or effete intellectual snobs We all know what happened to Agnew A little nolo contendre and he was history despicable history but history The ideological vigilantes live on however I think I see lots of them here tonight Then there s Howard Phillips who has been an angel of death trying to kill Legal Services from within and without since 1973 Probably Howie s greatest moment came in 1974 when he launched an effort to impeach President Nixon not because he had trampled on the Constitution not because he had lied to the American people not because he had disgraced his office but because he had signed into law the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974 Nixon continues apparently as a welcome White House advisor even today but Howie natters on most recently about the former Conservative Congressman from Virginia Caldwell Butler Phillips and his associates apparently succeeded in killing Butler s chances to be nominated to lead Legal Services But Legal Services lives And there was that illustrious Senator from California George Murphy who tried time and time again to repeal the provision in the OEO Act that allowed the OEO Director to override a Governor s veto of a Community Action grant That would become particularly significant here in Missouri in 1969 when Governor Warren Hearnes vetoed a grant to the Legal Aid Society of St Louis and was overridden by one of my successors When I was OEO Director I must say that I took Senator Murphy s attitude rather personally But then I said to myself Sarge what do you expect from a tap dancer Senator Murphy is no longer with us and neither is OEO But Legal Services lives on Nobody has been present longer or tried harder to kill Legal Services than Ronald Reagan and his ubiquitous colleague Ed Meese Legal Services has been a rather large burr under both their saddles since their days in Sacramento when Governor Reagan vetoed the annual grants to California Rural Legal Assistance He characterized CRLA lawyers as a bunch of ideological ambulance chasers doing their own thing at the expense of the poor Ideological ambulance chasers was a precursor to Spiro Angew s ideological vigilantes I realize you all know this story by heart but I love to tell it so much that you re just going to have to bear with me The Reagan Administration in California itemized 157 charges of misconduct against CRLA A panel of three retired Chief Justices of state Supreme Courts all of them Republicans was appointed by OEO to investigate the charges There was a full hearing I was Ambassador to France by then but I came back to testify at the hearings Ultimately this distinguished panel of judges found all not a few not some but all of the 157 charges raised by Reagan to be wrong That was one of those glorious days that are sprinkled liberally throughout the history of Legal Services But Reagan had a long memory and he and Meese would carry their vendetta with them to the White House and to the Justice Department nine years later We re still struggling against their legacy and their appointees to the Legal Services Corporation Were Reagan and Meese evil I don t know Were they ignorant Absolutely They had a narrowness of vision that would not allow them to see the suffering their policies caused They also weren t particularly courageous I was in Ireland four or five years ago My wife and I went to dinner with the Foreign Minister and his wife There were eight or nine of us at dinner One of the guests was Bill Clark who had worked for Reagan in California and later in Washington He leaned over to me during dinner and said I wonder if you remember speaking with me during the controversy around Legal Services in California I was special assistant to Governor Reagan and I spoke with you one day when you called the Governor about what was happening with CRLA The Governor had vetoed the proposed grant and you wanted to explain your position to him I said Did the Governor know about our conversation And he said Oh yes he was right there listening because we had you on a speaker phone And I wanted to say to him Well then why didn t he just pick up the phone and talk to me instead of hiding behind you Unfortunately there are still a considerable number of people whose outlook is represented by Reagan They have no sense that they are striking at the heart of democracy They aren t evil they re ignorant Their experience has been so narrow that they aren t sensitive to the suffering around them Ronald Reagan has clearly been the most anti Legal Services political leader in the USA through this entire period but he hasn t been alone About three weeks ago there was an op ed piece in the Washington Post written by Peter Flaherty of the Conservative Campaign Fund and Elizabeth Whitley of the American Farm Bureau entitled We Don t Want To Kill Legal Services These people and their confederates who have formed themselves into something called the Legal Services Reform Coalition are the very same people and organizations who have been fighting to destroy Legal Services since the program began Now they talk about wanting to reform Legal Services Howard Phillipps is a member of the Legal Services Reform Coalition Paul Weyrich and Phyllis Schiafley are members of the Legal Services Reform Coalition With reformers like them no one needs assassins to kill Legal Services What these people want to do make no mistake about it is to limit justice to take away fundamentally the most profound spiritual basis for democracy They are putting economic interests ahead of justice They consider Legal Services as some sort of evil germ infecting democracy They want to constrict to strangle to kill the growth of equal justice that should be nurtured and made to blossom throughout this land These are the same people remember who were allowed by the White House to veto Caldwell Butler for Chairman of the Legal Services Corporation Board because they felt he had been too supportive of the program while he was a Member of Congress These so called reformers and those carrying their water for them in the Congress cannot be allowed to tear apart this program We must continue to fight them at every turn They must not win It is particularly interesting to me to see the increased presence of the American Farm Bureau in their councils of war The Farm Bureau has always been among our foes believing as they seem to that their members essentially farmers who buy insurance from them would be infinitely better off if nobody ever told a migrant farm worker that he had certain rights under the law It was the California Farm Bureau interestingly enough that instigated all of the charges against CRLA which resulted in Reagan s vetoing the program s grant in 1970 And it was the Farm Bureau s lawyers who represented the interests of the Reagan Administration before the panel of judges that ultimately threw out all of those charges So don t ask me to believe for one minute that anyone associated with the American Farm Bureau has suddenly discovered the efficacy of Legal Services and has gotten together with Howard Phillips to try to make those services better These people don t want a level playing field for poor people they want to destroy the only hope for equal justice that migrant workers and other struggling people have But enough of the villains There have also been more heroes than I could ever name in this still unfinished saga I ve already mentioned Edgar Cahn who was convinced long before most of the rest of us that lawyers were essential to give a voice to the poor in the design and implementation of all the other programs that we envisioned at OEO He was right of course and we all owe him an enormous debt for holding firm to his vision and making the rest of us see the light But despite his vision and despite my willingness to be responsive to his ideas clearly this never could have happened without the support of the organized bar They were the people who not only saw the vision but knew how to make it a reality Now I realize that those of you who work as public defenders may have reason to quarrel with a number of the decisions of made by Justice Lewis Powell when he was on the Supreme Court and more recently with the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Habeas Corpus in Capital Cases which he chaired But I must tell you that it was our good fortune that Lewis Powell was president of the American Bar Association in 1964 when we were beginning to put together the elements of the War on Poverty He saw the practical possibility of this idea and through much patient and time consuming effort he persuaded the ABA to go on record in support of federally funded Legal Services From that day to this through a succession of Presidents and many changes in priorities the ABA has been a leader in the struggle to provide high quality legal services to America s poor State and local bar leaders also have fought to protect and strengthen the program over the years and their support has never been more important than in these last nine years It is not an overstatement to say that without the steadfast support of the organized Bar the Legal Services Corporation might not have survived the tense years of the Reagan Administration ABA Presidents from Chesterfield Smith to Bob Raven as well as up and coming Bar leaders like Jack Curtin and JoAnne Garvey have been outspoken in their support and have never been afraid to put themselves on the line for Legal Services We will be forever in their debt There was another young lawyer coming up through the ranks of the ABA when we started Legal Services As a close adviser to Lewis Powell in those critical early days as Chairman of the ABA s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants as Chairman of the Board of the Legal Services Corporation who continues to believe deep in his soul that he is still the only lawful Chairman of that body and now as your president Bill McCalpin has never stopped fighting for equal justice I am here tonight to salute Bill to thank him for his dedication to the cause of justice

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Special Olympics: "A Global Explosion" -- Remarks at the National Press Club
    the earlier era Instead of Phi Beta Kappa winners Special Olympics celebrates the achievements of persons with mental handicaps Instead of the world s fastest runner or highest jumper or strongest man Special Olympics celebrates the courage and skill of men and women with conditions we used to call handicaps and hopeless We are changing even that terminology because we have discovered that those with mental retardation can inspire everyone with their spiritual energy and psychological well being They make us happy They share their humanity with us and reveal our own humanity to us We revel in their achievements We are refreshed spiritually by their victories Together with these athletes Special Olympics has stolen a march on the 21st Century 750 000 athletes are enrolled and 500 000 volunteers are at work right now Ninety principalities territories nations and geographical areas are involved Twenty two official sports have been developed and approved with rule books training guides committees and supervisors Unified Sports combining Special Olympians with athletes of normal intelligence are balanced by Developmental Sports for Olympians with little athletic ability No amateur athletic program except Special Olympics enrolls persons of all ages all abilities all year round in continuous training and competition Neither money nor drugs has corrupted the beauty of Special Olympics nor has nationalism with its egoisms and politics impeded its growth Sports are the means not the ultimate purpose of Special Olympics Sports are used by Special Olympics to demonstrate the humanity as well as ability of its athletes Sports release Special Olympians from the confines of institutions gives them opportunities for travel socialization leadership and acclaim Through sports and competition Special Olympics opens the world of normal life to its participants and opens the minds and hearts of every one to the competencies of

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Remarks at the Special Olympics International Seminar
    enthusiastically OR The success of an 18 year old young man who can bench press 240 lbs twice his body weight Men and women like these make us happy They share their humanity with us and reveal our own humanity to us We revel in their achievements We are refreshed spiritually by their victories 750 000 athletes are enrolled and 500 000 volunteers are at work right now in Special Olympics Ninety principalities territories nations and geo graphical areas are involved Twenty two official sports have been developed and approved with rule books training guides committees and supervisors Unified Sports which combine Special Olympians with athletes of normal intelligence are balanced by Developmental Sports for Olympians with little athletic ability No athletic program except Special Olympics enrolls persons of all ages all abilities all year round in continuous training and competition Sports are the unifying activity which brings everyone together in the Special Olympics movement but sports are used by Special Olympics to demonstrate the humanity as well as the athletic ability of athletes Sports release Special Olympians from the confines of institutions sports give them opportunities for travel socialization leadership and acclaim Through sports and competition Special Olympics opens the minds and hearts of everyone to the abilities of persons with mental retardation not to their disabilities The Spirit of Special Olympics arises out of the challenge of competitive sports but the spirit of Special Olympics celebrates the courage and skill of losers as well as victors The slogan Special Olympics A World Of Winners is a cornerstone of our movement s philosophy Never before have so many parents volunteers spectators and benefactors worked together to change the living conditions and prospects for the estimated 300 million human beings with mental retardation Millions have been touched Yet in the future Special Olympics will reach out and improve the lives of millions more Especially for parents Special Olympics is a blessing of immeasurable worth As the people of the USSR and Indonesia of Pakistan and Switzerland join Special Olympics for the first time the movement of the world toward the values of Special Olympics may help change the spiritual and social atmosphere of the future Certainly our theme Skill Courage Sharing Joy the theme of Special Olympics would be an epochal improvement over slogans of the past I think specifically of Deutschland uber Allies Rule Britannia Britannia Rules The Waves and My country right or wrong You may not know that last slogan but it is an American slogan a slogan which came into use during the period of our own American Revolution By quoting it I do not mean to disparage those who used it or those inspired by its appeal for a maximum effort to rid the United States of foreign domination But effective as it was 200 years ago I express the hope that new slogans for the new era now opening before us will be just as effective We need to open hearts and minds by

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the Caribbean Regional Leadership Conference and Training School
    amateur athletic program in the world Let us pray and thank God that we are so lucky to be alive and participating in this phenomenon this newest wonder of the world Special Olympics Worldwide Often I wonder what brings us all together Why has Special Olympics grown so fast in so many places with such success Why is Special Olympics the only new charitable enterprise to be successful in 100 countries in this entire 20th Century Why do hundreds of thousands of human beings work long hours for Special Olympics voluntarily without pay without coercion without fear and with love Why do democrats and dictators Communists and Capitalists Christians Muslims Buddhists and Jews poor people and rich people white people and black people together Indians Chinese Japanese Slays Arabic Nordic Asiatic African Latin Americans and North Americans Europeans and Caribbeans all people all races all nationalities Why Why do they all work for Special Olympics Freely happily efficiently No world wide movement in any area of human endeavor has ever grown so fast so far without anger or fighting and without huge expenditures of money But why has this happened The first reason for our success I believe is you The Volunteers Except in war never have so many people like you volunteered to help solve a major human problem You have not said Leave the problem of mental retardation to scientists or to Government bureaucrats or to parents or to doctors You have said by your actions I can be part of the solution to his immense human problem I can help and I can find joy in helping You are right of course but never before have so many human beings freely decided to volunteer their time their money their hearts Congratulations to every Volunteer here tonight Second Special Olympics has succeeded because of parents and relatives of the mentally retarded not at the beginning not 25 years ago But slowly parents and brothers and sisters have rallied to the cause of Special Olympics Their lives have been changed by Special Olympics as much or more than the lives of Olympians themselves Today we have tens of thousands of parents working as volunteers but we need many many more Let us not rest till every Special Olympian has a parent or brother or sister or relative working and cheering them on Then there are an extraordinary number of unique characteristics which explain our growth and popularity For example we are open to athletes of all abilities We are not just for elite athletes We gather all athletes into Special Olympics and make winners of them all by our unique system of dividing all contestants into divisions where everyone has a chance to win And we welcome athletes of all ages A 72 year old woman won a Gold Medal in bowling at the 1987 World Wide Games And a year later she appeared on national television about Special Olympics Our programs are free of charge We are not

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