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Public Statements

Recognizing the Special Olympics' 40th Anniversary

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


RECOGNIZING THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS' 40TH ANNIVERSARY -- (House of Representatives - July 30, 2008)

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Mr. CHABOT. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I would first like to also commend the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Terry) for his leadership and his offering this particular resolution, and I also rise to support this resolution, H. Res. 1279, which recognizes the Special Olympics on its 40th anniversary.

On July 20, 1968, as was mentioned, Eunice Kennedy Shriver organized the first Special Olympic Summer Games, which took place at Soldier Field in Chicago. Since then, the Special Olympics has become one of the most prominent and celebrated sporting programs in the entire world. The Special Olympics today serves more than 2 1/2 million people with intellectual disabilities.

These inspirational athletes work with more than 1 million volunteers and coaches worldwide, training year round for competition in both Summer and Winter Games. In more than 200 countries, the Special Olympics has shown that intellectual disabilities are no impediment to fun and healthy athletic competition. These athletes are supported by more than 18,000 dedicated volunteers.

In my own State, Special Olympics Ohio has approximately 200 local member organizations and over 18,000 athletes who are in training and competition. These organizations originate from county boards of MR/DD, public schools, developmental centers, parks and recreation departments, churches, and parent and community groups.

For the past 40 years, these games have empowered individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit and have fun while engaging in sports training and competition.

As was indicated by the gentleman from California, and I think the quote again warrants stating, that like the gladiators of ancient Rome, Special Olympics athletes pledge, ``Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.''

On this 40th anniversary, we congratulate these courageous athletes and wish the program many more years of continued success.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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