Every country has more to learn from people with intellectual
disabilities than they have currently learned.
I say that we have more to learn as a community of nations.
[TEXT: Sports in America "The Best Teacher"]
Special Olympics was founded in 1968.
[TEXT: Tim Shriver, Chairman and CEO, Special Olympics]
It was a time in which people in the United States saw
people with intellectual disabilities as real liabilities.
It’s the year in which the institutionalized population of people
with intellectual disabilities reached its peak.
And in that environment my mother, who'd grown up
with a sister with an intellectual disability
and knew that to be the wrong approach, was experimenting.
Forty-plus years later, the movement now has
50,000 little competitions every year.
And in that small event they strike out at injustice,
which is still prevalent,
and they challenge intolerance,
which is still epidemic around the world.
And they create the largest global movement
dedicated to the idea that every person counts.
When we think of great diplomats, how many people would think
of a 15-year-old with Down Syndrome
as an agent of diplomatic healing,
communication, understanding? But they are.
Play on a team with a Special Olympics athlete.
Maybe for a week, maybe for a season.
If every child had that experience,
we’d have a different definition of what it means
to create communities of acceptance and welcome for all.
The average Special Olympics athlete
who comes to the races, comes to the venues,
raises his or her arms in victory and says “I’m a champion!” —
that’s the best teacher we can get.
[TEXT: Every Play Matters
Share Your Sport At
Produced by the U.S. Department of State]