Special Olympics at 50: The coming #InclusionRevolution

Fifty years ago this summer, the very first Special Olympics for people with intellectual disabilities was held at Chicago’s Soldier Field. It was the brainchild of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of Pres. John F. Kennedy and of Rosemary Kennedy, a woman with intellectual disabilities. A half century later, more than 5 million Special Olympics athletes train and compete in 172 countries every day. What began as a summer camp for children with intellectual disabilities in Shriver’s backyard has grown into a global movement for inclusion. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games were held in Seattle, Washington July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 participants from across the nation, along with the support of 15,000 volunteers and 100,000 spectators, competed in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. We talk with Vermont athletes who participated in the USA Games and also with coaches, parents, educators and others involved in Special Olympics nationally and in Vermont. (August 8, 2018 broadcast)

Tim Shriver, chairman of the board, Special Olympics International

Sue Minter, President & CEO, Special Olympics Vermont

Athletes from USA Games Team Vermont: Unified Basketball Team (gold medal winner) — Erin Watson, Wayne Elias, Hailey Clos, Graham Walker, Peter Booth (coach); track athlete Michelle Olden; track coach Selina Hunter

Adam Bunting, principal, Champlain Valley Union High School

Part 1 (Shriver, Minter, athletes)

Part 2 (Booth, Bunting, Hunter)




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