Remembering a Friend

Special Olympics athlete Ricardo Thornton holds the Flame of Hope with Nelson MandelaAfter becoming President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela also became a supporter of Special Olympics.

Mandela, along with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation, worked with Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Special Olympics to reach out to people with intellectual disabilities and their families as well. Through this joint venture, new opportunities were given to a population that had long been ignored.

In the words of Mandela, “Only 50 years ago persons with intellectual disabilities were scorned, isolated and neglected. Today, they are able to attend school, become employed and assimilate into their local community.”

Special Olympics Louisiana, President and CEO, Pat Carpenter Bourgeois remarks, “I am saddened by the news of the death of Nelson Mandela. He was an advocate for Special Olympics, attended many events, and renewed hope in people with disabilities who came to Special Olympics through his involvement. We are fortunate to have had him as a part of our Movement. He will be missed by us and leaders around the world.”

Read Special Olympics’ tribute to Nelson Mandela


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