Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Still Going Strong
Although Shriver has experienced some set backs due to illness, she still makes an appearance at a variety of events that support the Special Olympics and advocates for the mentally challenged. Shriver told a Toronto reporter "I feel a sense of gratitude, a sense of admiration. I am very energized by them." That explains how she was able to attend the games of 2001 in Alaska, after suffering an acute infection following a surgery she had to remove a benign pancreatic tumor. Although Tim Kennedy, who organized the event, encouraged her to take it easy, she wouldn't miss it for the world. Although Shriver hates public speaking, she knows that it is necessary to inspire the athletes and their families as well as educate the public on the topic of mental retardation.
"With enormous conviction and unrelenting effort, Eunice Kennedy Shriver has labored on behalf of America's least powerful, those with mental retardation "Her decency and goodness have touched the lives of many," stated President Ronald Reagan when awarding Shriver with the Presidential Medal of Honor. Shriver has received many awards for all her diligent work, but she is the last person to brag about it. She humbly shrugs off any attempts to glorify her work. Michelle Green of People exhorts Shriver saying "She had wooed, coaxed and, sometimes, strong-armed an entire generation of coaches, donors, and volunteers. Along the way she had convinced skeptics that the retarded, once treated as frail specimens (if not ignored altogether), could blossom on the playing field." She paved the way for the mentally challenged to become a normal, working part of society. "Simply not accepting the limitations that the world may put on people with disabilities – that is success," stated Shriver in the foreword for Dinn's book. Shriver is not an openly emotional person, but is moved to tears of joy at most events, seeing how far these athletes have come. Rainie and Hetter sum it up stating "the changes wrought by Eunice Shriver may well be seen as the most consequential. With a lot of help for her very powerful brother Jack and inspiration from her powerless sister Rosemary, Eunice Shriver helped move the nation for good and for all."
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver - Related Biography: Founder And President Of Best Buddies Anthony Shriver
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver - Awards And Accomplishments
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