Special Olympics Athletes “Redefined Winning” On the Way to Social Change

ghsAs he accepted a prestigious award, Special Olympics Chairman, Tim Shriver, made a point about people worldwide with intellectual disabilities.

“Their cause is, I think, the only cause in the history of social change whose voice has been primarily carried through sport,” Shriver said.

He made his remarks 16 January as he accepted the Walter Camp Football Foundation Distinguished American Award in New Haven, CT. The award is given each year to an individual who has utilized his or her talents to attain great success in business, private life or public service and who may have accomplished that which no other has done.

In his acceptance speech, Shriver explained that the Special Olympics movement has been a way for “the gifts, and dignity and value and worthfulness of people with Down syndrome or autism or William’s syndrome or other intellectual challenges [to be seen] as full and decent human beings.”

“They came to the playing fields of sport and turned the whole thing upside down. They redefined winning.”

Hear more of his powerful speech at the link below.

Related Video:  given by Tim Shriver. Hear the full speech

Image Caption: Tim Shriver, third from left, was awarded the prize on January 16.
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Tim Shriver on Super Soul Sunday

UnknownWe are so excited to hear OWNTV and Oprah Winfrey will be sitting down with Tim Shriver to discuss his new book, #FullyAlive on, Sunday November 23rd at 10:00 a.m. CST! In his new book “Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most” Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics Inc., takes us on a mesmerizing journey of self-discovery lead by Special Olympics athletes. Hope you join me and watch!

Check out this sneak peek of the show here.

American Graduate Day

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On Saturday September 27th (EKS Day) Special Olympics will be participating in “American Graduate Day,” a 7-hour live national broadcast on PBS, addressing the issue of graduation rates in the United States. And for the first time in its history, special education and Special Olympics’ work in schools will be a part of this exciting conversation!

Tune in to your local PBS station on September 27th between 1:30 and 2:30 PM CST to meet athlete and youth leaders Alexa and Brooke from Special Olympics New Jersey and hear their story. A message from SOI Chairman Tim Shriver is also scheduled to be featured in the broadcast. Alexa and Brooke are scheduled to be on air close to 1:45 PM, but it is a live broadcast, hence the one hour window we’ve shared.

Check your local listings for more information. The broadcast will also be streamed live on the American Graduation Day website

We are thrilled to be a featured part of this national conversation addressing a critical issue for students with and without intellectual disabilities.

Don’t forget to tune in!

Medal Monday: A Memorable Award

At the recent 2014 USA Games, Special Olympics Louisiana Southwest athlete, Virgilene Cagle won a gold medal in her softball throw division. She was awarded her gold medal by none other than, Special Olympics Chairman of the Board, Doctor Tim Shriver. We love watching Virgilene’s excitement in this video and think it’s perfect for Medal Monday!

Stand UP for those with disabilities

Now is a critical time in the Senate for those with disabilities. See the below from Special Olympics International and what you can do here in Louisiana:

Taken from Special Olympics blog: The New York Times recently reprinted this article explaining the importance and impact of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). 132 nations have ratified this Convention. The United States is not one of them.

Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Dr. Tim Shriver says “The Convention reflects core American values and core Special Olympics values regarding the dignity of the individual, equal and fair access to justice, access to health care, and the chance to participate fully in the life of the community and the country.” More than 200 million people around the world have intellectual disabilities, comprising the world’s largest disability population, yet they remain amongst the most discriminated, disenfranchised and marginalized people on earth.

Very soon — most likely this month — the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold Hearings on the subject and the United States Senate will vote on whether or not to ratify the CRPD. We Need Your Help! We’re asking everyone who cares about the rights, dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities to e-mail, call, Tweet and Facebook their U.S. Senators NOW with one simple request: to vote for the CRPD when it comes to the Floor of the Senate. Make your voice heard on behalf of those who are too often silenced!

Louisiana: The first time this Convention was brought before the Senate, Senator Vitter opposed and Senator Landrieu supported it. We ask that you contact them this week and ask Senator Vitter to support the CRPD and ask Senator Landrieu to continue supporting the CRPD. If you need more resources or tools please contact Special Olympics Louisiana at 1-800-345-6644 or email us at laso@laso.org

Contacting Senator Vitter:
email: http://www.vitter.senate.gov/contact/email-senator-vitter
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidVitter
twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidVitter

Contacting Senator Landrieu:
email: http://www.landrieu.senate.gov/?p=contact
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/senatormarylandrieu
twitter: https://twitter.com/SenLandrieu

Sample Messages: We encourage you to use the following sample messages when contacting your Senators.

Tweet: As your constituent, I urge you to support the ratification of the CRPD & honor people with disabilities. Use hashtag: #CPRD

Facebook Post or Email:

Dear Senator:

Please urge Senators Menendez and Corker to hold hearings on the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and when it comes to a vote on the Senate Floor please vote for ratification of this Convention. By providing positive advice and consent for ratification, the Senate will underscore and ensure our global leadership in disability rights, and more importantly, improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people with disabilities worldwide and enable them to make important contributions to society.

Spread the Word to End the Word

R-Word“Everyone has a gift and the world would be better off if we recognized it.” – Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics.

March 6th is our Annual Spread the Word to End the Word Day. This is our national day of awareness to eradicate the use of the word “retard” from everyday language. Stand up for dignity and acceptance by taking the pledge! See why you should pledge HERE