By. Taylor Younger
In the 1950’s and early 1960’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw how unjustly and unfairly people with intellectual disabilities were being treated. A couple years later in 1962 Eunice started a summer camp in her very own backyard in washington D.C for those who were being treated unfairly. Eunice’s idea and her movement on this situation was revolutionary at the time.
Later in 1967 the chicago park district started plans for a city wide track meet. Shriver then asked Anne McGlone Burke (Burke is a founder of the Special Olympics) to enlarge the scope to include athletes from around the entire country.
Anne traveled to washington to meet with the kennedy foundation staffers to discuss the country wide track meet for people with intellectual disabilities. A couple of months later on March 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the chicago park district held a news conference to announce the very first special olympic games for young people with intellectual disabilities.
The first ever special olympic games were held on july 20th, 1968 at soldier field in chicago. Unified sports then grew rapidly in the 2000’s, both young people with, and without intellectual disabilities teamed up to play a variety of sports worldwide in several different countries.
At Oregon City high school in the year 2017, sophomore Sam Larry tried out for his school’s basketball team. Due to the fact his right arm was disabled they denied him. Sam’s mom was very upset at the fact they wouldn’t let him play on the team. Sam’s mom then found Special Olympics.
With the information she had, she went to the school board. That very fall was the first unified sports team at Oregon City high school.
Since last school year (2016-2017) to this school year (2017-2018) Oregon City high school now has two sports to offer for kids with intellectual disabilities.
Two of our very own students from ACA are fortunate enough to be involved in the leading of unified sports at Oregon City High School.
These students have now been participating in being unified partners (players that have no intellectual disabilities) for the past two years and have enjoyed it to its fullest, and hope to continue being apart of this amazing program.
Shriver’s vision has carried on this long… and hopes for even the program to grow even more.
Austen younger – personal interview
- Taylor younger
- Dory Jones
- Sam Lary