Photo: SpecialOlympics.org

Although Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics, died in 2009 at the age of 88, she is still receiving honors for her tireless work for people with intellectual disabilities. In Athens, where the Special Olympics are under way through July 4, a park was dedicated to her memory. Although Shriver grew up in a family of extraordinary accomplishment, her brother Sen. Edward M. Kennedy told The New York Times in 2007 that her achievements were special. “You talk about an agent of change — she is it,” said Kennedy, who died in 2009. “If the test is what you’re doing that’s been helpful for humanity, you’d be hard pressed to find another member of the family who’s done more.” Shriver’s daughter, Maria, the former first lady of California, spoke at the park dedication ceremony in Athens. “Mummy would be thrilled that this park is in Athens because it’s named after the Goddess Athena,” Maria Shriver said. “As we all know, the Goddess Athena is the goddess of wisdom, but she is never depicted without her shield and without her helmet because she is a warrior. At heart, she is a warrior. As every woman knows, you have to be both. You have to know when to be wise. You have to know when to be compassionate. And you have know when to put on your helmet, take out your spear, put on your shield and go to war — and fight for what you believe in. And Mummy was, at her heart, a warrior. She woke up every day and fought … that’s what she did her whole life.”

 

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