Remarks June, 1978
At Inauguration Ceremonies of Colombia Special Olympics
Mrs. Lopez, members of the Committee for Colombia Special Olympics and friends, this is an important occasion for all mentally retarded individuals in Colombia. By joining this committee and agreeing to work hard on organizing Special Olympics throughout your country, you are making it possible for thousands of mentally retarded children and adults to experience the benefits and the joys of sports training and athletic competition. I am pleased to be here at the President of Special Olympics on this important occasion. I congratulate you.
Starting and building a strong, effective Special Olympics program is difficult. I know as I started Special Olympics just 10 years ago in the United States.
There will be opposition but you can overcome.
There will be conflicts within your organization but you can solve them.
There will be disappointments but by working harder you can set them aside.
There will be months and years of hard work but you are prepared for the task.
As you proceed, you will see in the laughter of the participants, in the marvelous improvement that they make, in the pride of the parents that your work has been worthwhile. You too will experience the same joy and excitement that Special Olympians feel.
I pledge my assistance and the support of the International Special Olympics Headquarters in making Colombia Special Olympics successful.
I invite Colombia Special Olympics to send a delegation of athletes to the 1979 International Special Olympics Games in August 1979 in New York.
Tomorrow we will see the first Special Olympics in Colombia. That will mark the beginning of what I am sure will be a highly successful Special Olympics program.