Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. - Special Olympics Oath
How can that oath not empower one's spirit and inspire greatness? I first heard the oath at the first local Down Syndrome Conference we ever attended in 2008. There we learned about special needs planning, nutrition, listened to guest speakers who had Down syndrome, and the Special Olympics.
At the time, I didn't know about Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921 - 2009), sister of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. She was instrumental in creating an avenue of opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to excel within the community through Olympic-type sports. Yet, I am one of millions of people, deeply saddened at her passing, and deeply grateful for the doors and windows she has opened so that the world may come to accept people with intellectual disabilities.
If Matthew is ever interested in joining the Special Olympics when he's older, we will support him. We will cheer for him. If he'd rather be a spectator, that's perfectly fine too. It's wonderful to have this kind of opportunity today that was non-existent 42 years ago.
Thank you for your tireless dedication, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. May you rest in peace.