As a charter and founding member of Special Olympics I have many wonderful memories of great events and dramatic moments. Forever etched in my mind is the 60 yard dash in our very first International Game held on the campus of U.C.L.A in Los Angeles. I was calling the race for ABC: Wide World of Sports and as the finalists broke from the start one of the athletes sped to the front of the field. Then with a commanding lead on his way to a sure victory he began to stumble then fall. Another Special Olympian sped by taking a sure to win lead. But as he flashed by his fallen young friend, he all of a sudden stopped, looking first at the finish line before turning, and walking back to his fallen opponent. Then as I have recalled so many times, he helped his fellow Olympian to his feet, and they finished the race, together, hand in hand, in last place. It brought tears to my eyes, and for me it has always symbolized, what Special Olympics is all about; caring, loving and helping one another.
Francis Newton "Frank" Gifford began his NFL career with the New York Giants by playing both offense and defense, a rarity when platoon football became popular after World War II. He made eight Pro Bowl appearances and had five trips to the NFL Championship Game, the forerunner of the NFC Championship Game. In 1956 Gifford won the Most Valuable Player award of the NFL, and led the Giants to the NFL title over the Chicago Bears. He was officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 30, 1977. After his playing days ended, Gifford became a commentator mainly for NFL games on CBS. He served on Special Olympics International Board of Directors and led the ABC Wide World of Sports coverage for more than a decade.