THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
MINISTER FOR SPORT
THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR
DISABILITIES AND CHILDREN'S SERVICES
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
12 August 2009
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a role model, a visionary and a tireless champion for people living with an intellectual disability.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1968 because she had a strong belief in the power of sport and the rewards that participating in sport could provide for people with intellectual disabilities.
The power of her belief has seen the Special Olympics grow to support more than 2.25 million people in 169 countries around the world.
The Special Olympics helps to change lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities and promoting acceptance of all people.
Currently 4000 Australians participate in the Special Olympics as well as thousands of volunteer coaches and supporters. This movement allows people with an intellectual disability to enjoy the benefits and joy of participating in competitive sport.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was an inspirational leader who is recognised throughout the world for her efforts on behalf of persons with intellectual disabilities.
In 1984, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States highest civilian award, for her work on behalf of persons with intellectual disabilities.
Her passing on 11 August 2009 will be felt by the many people she championed over her lifetime.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver is survived by her husband, Sargent Shriver, her five children: Robert Sargent Shriver III, Maria Owings Shriver Schwarzenegger, Timothy Perry Shriver, Mark Kennedy Shriver and Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver and 19 grandchildren.