"What a great moment for me, my son, the world. What you have made possible for so many people defies all reason." LOWELL WEICKER, JR.
Former United States Senator
Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Address at Fourth International Special Olympics Games
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (August 7-11, 1975)
To all young Olympians. What a fantastic night this is. There is nothing like this in the anywhere else in the world. You have come from all over the globe to show us as well as millions of people watching CBS television what you can do. Running. Leaping. Swimming. Throwing. Gymnastics. All challenges most of us on this platform couldn't possibly do as well as you.
In the World Olympic Games one nation competes against another but here at Special Olympics, with 12 nations represented, what nation you come from doesn't matter. We don't care. Your age. Your size. We don't care. Your beauty. We don't care. Tonight we are here for one great reason. To see you Olympians and celebrate how marvelous you are.
Just as the World Olympics celebrates the glories of Mark Spitz and Rafer Johnson, we tonight honor courageous heroes and heroines of our own.
For example. Janet Silvario who won her swimming race although paralyzed in both legs.
Stanford Anderson who despite cerebral palsy won a Gold Medal in the baseball throw.
Mike Baker from Michigan who with one leg won the Gold Medal in gymnastics.
But we are concerned with more than simple victories and trophies here. Our greatest respect and admiration goes out to every one of you who tries, your own gallant efforts, and the warm concern and kindness of those who love you - your parents, brothers and sisters, your teachers and coaches, the nuns, and the State Directors, who have brought you here tonight to show the world once more that it is not the strongest body nor the most dazzling mind that counts - it is the human spirit. For without it winning medals is empty. But with it there is no defeat. I wish you joy and good luck.