The first World Special Olympics competition opens (1968)

The first World Special Olympics competition opens (1968)

On July 20, 1968, the world’s first Special Olympics sports competition was opened, intended for people with intellectual disabilities. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of US President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, is credited with founding the Special Olympics. In the tragic fate of the Kennedy family, it happened that her older brother John was killed in 1963, and her younger brother Robert in 1968, just about a month and a half before the opening of the said games.

By the way, Eunice was married for the rest of her life to Sargent Shriver, a prominent American politician and activist who was the first director of the Peace Corps. It is interesting that Sargent Shriver has been the American ambassador to France since 1968, and he also held a high diplomatic position there at the time of the opening of the mentioned games.

The competition was the full name of the International Special Olympics Summer Games and was held at Soldier Field Stadium in the American city of Chicago. The intention of the organizers of the games was to provide an opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities to realize their potential, develop physical abilities, show courage, as well as to experience the joy of experiencing friendship. The first competitions were relatively small in scope, but over time they grew and turned into sporting events with thousands of competitors. In addition to the Summer and Winter World Games, the Special Olympics also operates on a daily

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