Remarks: 1995 World Games

Eunice Kennedy Shriver's Opening Ceremonies Address

1995 Special Olympics World Games

Yale Bowl, New Haven, CT

July 1, 1995

This is a week of Spirit and Splendor. No where else on earth does the spark of human endeavor shine more brightly than it does here in Connecticut in this week of weeks. But every four years, when the stadium is empty, and the World Games are concluded-the question must be asked. What will take we take home from this Special Olympiad? How do we give this high point of so many lives continuing meaning in their daily lives.

First, I say to you, our Special Olympians, you are the heroes and heroines who have overcome. So go home and tell your countrymen: am a champion athlete-and I represented my nation before all the world. Train me for work I can do. Train me in computers, in hotels, in factories and stores. Grant me my humanity. My time is now! My civil rights are today! I refuse to be lost for another generation. I have talent-priceless and precious. I will never give in.

Finally, I say to Families: Stand up and be heard. Demand an education for your child...It is their fundamental right - and yours. Be proud of them-not just today, but everyday, in everything they do. For in you the truest of judgments, their achievements may be the greatest of all.

Finally, I say to all of you: Protect the health of our special friends. Demand prenatal care and nutrition for pregnant women, so their babies will be healthy and alert. Never turn your heads and consign the differently-abled to dark places of forgetfulness and pain. Your bravery seen here can become a mighty force against centuries of ignorance, neglects and oppressions.

If only each of us will go out from here and pass the Olympic Torch from hand to hand, from mind to mind, from heart to heart.

God bless you in these Games-and in the greatness of all your lives.