Press Release ● Human and Civil Rights
For Immediate Release: 
July 19, 2013
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement marking tomorrow as the 45th anniversary of the Special Olympics:

“I join in marking 45 years since the first Special Olympics were held at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 1968.  Originally the vision of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and taking inspiration from the summer camps she and her family ran at their home starting in 1962, the Special Olympics movement has brought dignity and opportunity to people with intellectual disabilities throughout the country and around the world. 

“I was proud to join with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to sponsor and pass the Special Olympics Empowerment Act of 2004, which recognized the important role of the Special Olympics in the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families and provided funding in support of the organization’s work. I hope the House will take action to reauthorize that bill by passing the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act, which I introduced with Rep. Peter King earlier this year.  

“Special Olympics is rooted in the fundamental American belief that every person is born with equal dignity and deserves an equal shot at pursuing happiness and a meaningful life.  I wish the organizers of and participants in Special Olympics – past and present – every measure of success as they celebrate this milestone, and I join in thanking the Shriver and Kennedy families for their continued leadership and support.  I will continue to be an advocate for Americans with intellectual disabilities as part of my service in Congress and look forward to working with the Special Olympics and other organizations to expand opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities to participate fully in their communities and in the life of our nation.”