Message from Timothy Shriver

Chairman, Special Olympics

My mother has always been about hope, love and opportunity. Love being the most important. For what do we have, if we do not have love? Hope for helping us through each day when life challenges us. And, opportunity that each one of us is empowered to create to make the world a better place. My mother believed in these things so strongly and they have played a major role in her life, especially, her work with people with intellectual disabilities.

To this day, the mission of Special Olympics is rooted in the values of hope, love and opportunity. To create an opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities where they can compete, experience success and showcase their talents to the world. To create a community of hope and welcome for the athletes and their families where they can experience joy and acceptance. And, to let others share in the love and joy that comes from the athletes so openly and unencumbered. That is the essence of my mother's vision.

The mission of Special Olympics remains unchanged since she wrote it in a hotel meeting room nearly 40 years ago.

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

It is through her relentless determination, passion, courage and the hard work of her and many others that her vision is being realized by millions of people the world over. She has inspired people around the globe to become believers and follow in her footsteps.

To each of you that visit this site and read of my mother's work, I hope you will leave inspired and embracing the values of love, hope and opportunity in your own life. And, I challenge each of you to further my mother's work and vision -- reach out to a person with intellectual disabilities who every day is looking for hope, love and opportunity. When we open our eyes to that which is around us it is so simple to do. Smile, reach out and say hello to those with intellectual disabilities in your schools and your communities. Get involved and volunteer with your local Special Olympics. I guarantee your life will be enriched and you will get back more than you give.

For as my mother said, "As we hope for the best in them, hope is reborn in us."