Mention the Kennedy family name in political circles and you’re certain to get a reaction.
Yet the death of 88-year-old Eunice Kennedy Shriver this morning has little to do with long-held opinions many have of her brothers John, Robert and Ted or her son-in-law, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Shriver is the founder of Special Olympics, an athletic completion underscoring the amazing abilities of physically and mentally challenged youth and adults.
A detailed biography of Shriver mentions all of her contributions to the development of Special Olympics and advocacy on behalf of this segment of American society that was largely shunned when she took up the cause in the 1950s.
I recall a few instances early in my sports writing career where I covered local Special Olympics events. The stories you often hear about how much the competitions mean to the participants, the soaring feeling of accomplishment they gain, well, it’s all true.
Cracking open the door for the development of the Special Olympics and greater acceptance and love for the disabled is a legacy that extends well beyond political opinion.