Remarks: 1985 Utah Games

Remarks by

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Opening Ceremony

March 25, 1985, Park City, Utah

Father Carley, Congressman Nielsen, Mayor Green, parents, family members, coaches, volunteers, friends of Special Olympics and Special Olympians.

What a marvelous day this is.

I want to express to all of the state directors, the national directors, to the area coordinators, to the coaches, the families and the people of Utah our congratulations and our thanks for making possible these magnificent third International Winter Special Olympics Games.

In all the world, you Special Olympians are the most courageous athletes. You have overcome the most obstacles of any group in our society. Indeed, in our history. We congratulate you. We salute you. The world loves a champion and you are champions. Every one of you.

Last summer we thrilled to the skill and grace of the world's Olympic athletes. But the flame that burned so brightly in Los Angeles did not die when those games were over. This week, from these majestic mountains the message will go forth to all people and nations: that whatever the speed of our feet; whatever the strength of our bodies; whatever the swiftness of our minds; each of us is capable of the highest virtues. Of moral excellence. Of friendship. Of sharing and of love.

As you are proving in Special Olympics we are all one in our struggle to grow in skill. To compete with courage. To overcome all odds.

So - welcome to our Japanese, Polish, Greek and Chinese friends who are here today. Welcome to the Austrians, the Yugoslavians and the Swiss who are competing in Special Olympics for the first time. Welcome to our old friends who have been with us from the beginning, the French and the Canadians. Welcome to every Special Olympian from every state and country standing before us.

By coming together on the field of sports you win for all of us the greatest gift of all - faith in the unlimited possibilities of the human spirit. Together with your coaches and your families you lift us to the highest mountain - where the spirit of mankind is triumphant and everlasting. Bon chance, Kudasai, Viel gluck, Powodzenia, Good luck Olympians.