George W. Bush photo

Remarks at a Dinner Honoring the Special Olympics

July 10, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming—Mrs. Shriver and Special Olympics athletes, friends and family. Mr. President—the President of Iceland has joined us—proud you're here, President Grimsson. And First Lady of Panama, First Lady Torrijos, is with us as well. We've got Members of the Congress and Members of the Senate. Laura and I are glad you all are here. Welcome to this special occasion.

We're here to celebrate the Special Olympics and to honor a woman who made them possible, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. And we're here to celebrate her birthday. [Laughter]

In a moment, we'll hear from this woman who has made it her life's work to create opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. She founded the Special Olympics in 1968 to get people with intellectual disabilities the chance to develop physical fitness, to create friendships, and experience the joy of sports competition and achievement. Today, the Special Olympics includes more than 2.25 million athletes in 150 countries. The games have become a source of unity and excitement for its participants. They've helped raise awareness of the challenges facing those with intellectual disabilities.

America upholds the values of every person and the possibilities of every life. And the Special Olympics are an example of America at its best. We share with the entire world the spirit of joy and kindness that the Special Olympics brings.

If you ever had any doubt about how much good one person can do, look no further than this kind and gracious lady. On this special occasion, I ask you to join me in a toast to the Special Olympics and to Eunice Kennedy Shriver and to her contributions to our Nation, past, present, and future. God bless.

NOTE: The President spoke at 7:40 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder and honorary chairman, Special Olympics; President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland; and Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos, wife of President Martin Torrijos Espino of Panama.

George W. Bush, Remarks at a Dinner Honoring the Special Olympics Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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