|Eunice Shriver (www.geni.com)|
"Let me win.
But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt," (Eunice Shriver).
Eunice Shriver spoke these historical words while opening the first Special Olympics.
Born into a large, competitive family and inspired by her mentally challenged
sister Rosemary, Eunice felt the need to help the mentally challenged. She did
this by organizing camps and the Special Olympics so the mentally disabled
could participate in physical activities. At the time, when the mentally
disabled were shunned, Eunice opened her arms and gave them opportunities no
one thought they would ever have. Eunice Shriver was inspired and determined to
improve the lives of the mentally challenged while inspiring others to do the
|Special Olympics (www.sode.org)|
Through a chain of
inspiration, Eunice was inspired to help the mentally challenged while
inspiring society to follow in her heroic footsteps. Eunice's inspiration
ignited when her sister, Rosemary, got diagnosed with a mental disability:
"Everyone in the family was affected by Rosemary's condition; they all
became more aware of the needs of mentally challenged people. Shriver, in
particular, saw that mentally challenged people can often accomplish quite a
lot." (Encyclopedia of the World, 1999) Rosemary had been the
inspiration behind all of Eunice's success. Eunice's inspiration from Rosemary
became an inspiration to society. Eunice inspired people to create a change by
giving the mentally challenged opportunities that no one thought they would
ever get.: "Shriver changed the way people perceived those who were
mentally impaired, helping those who were mentally challenged believe in
themselves and inspiring them to become all they could be by exposing them to
new activities." Â ("Eunice Mary Shriver." Notable Sports
Figures. Ed.) Because Eunice stood up for the mentally challenged, she
inspired others to do likewise. Eunice inspired many to treat the mentally
challenged as an equal. The inspiration that had been passed down from Rosemary
to Eunice to society, benefited the mentally challenged in many ways.
|Dancing at camp (guestofaguest.com)|
At a time when
society shunned the mentally challenged Eunice Shriver was determined to give
them opportunity's they deserved. Throughout her life,:"[s]he worked
tirelessly to improve the quality of life for mentally challenged people and to
provide them with opportunities to achieve, to become productive citizens, and
to be respected members of their communities" (Encyclopedia of the
World, 1999). Eunice showed determination by working endlessly to give the
mentally challenged new opportunities. Her determination was shown through her
accomplishments.Â Not only did Eunice
organize camps for the mentally challenged, but she also started an Olympics:
"That summer camp led Eunice Shriver and her husband, Sargent, to start
the Special Olympics. Eunice Shriver opened the first national games." ("Eunice
Kennedy Shriver's Olympic Legacy." NPR.) Shriver's determination
got paid off not only for her, but also for the mentally challenged. Her drive
for equality brought the mentally challenged success. If it wasn't for Eunice's
determination, mentally challenged citizens might have not had the
opportunity's they get today.
|Eunice clapping (topics.nytimes.com)|
determination to give the mentally challenged equality inspired others to do
the same. Through her actions and her words, Eunice inspired people everywhere
to treat each other as an equal no matter what differences we have. She used
her determination to inspire society to help others. "Eunice is a
remarkable woman," says history professor Edward Shorter, author of The
Kennedy Family and the Story of Mental Retardation."It was extraordinary
of her to conceive that she, too, could play a role comparable to that of her
brothers," Shorter says. "Her leadership role would be in the area of
mental retardation rather than on the big political stage, because in the
1950s, she couldn't get on that political stage. Women weren't tolerated
there." (Edward Shorter. "Eunice Kennedy Shriver's Olympic
Legacy." NPR.) As Edward Shorter
pointed out, Eunice is a remarkable woman. I think Eunice is a hero
because she not only created camps and the Special Olympics, but she also
impacted society in a way that would change the world forever. Eunice Changed
how Society saw the mentally challenged and continues to make an impact today,
as her legend still lives on through camp Timberlawn and the Special Olympics.
Shriver succeeded in making a difference in many mentally challenged lives.
Just like her quote, "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in
the attempt," Eunice was brave and won, not only for the mentally
challenged of her era but also for the society of tomorrow.
and Edward Shorter. "Eunice Kennedy Shriver's Olympic Legacy." NPR.
NPR, 05 Apr. 2007. Web. 22 Mar. 2013.
"Eunice Kennedy Shriver." Encyclopedia of
World Biography. Vol. 19. Detroit: Gale, 1999. Biography In Context.
Web. 21 Mar. 2013.
"Eunice Mary Shriver." Notable Sports
Figures. Ed. Dana R. Barnes. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Biography In Context.
Web. 21 Mar. 2013.
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Last edited 4/21/2013 12:00:00 AM