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Worldwide Day of Play

In celebration of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day, youth leaders from around the United States came to Washington, D.C. to participate in Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play Sept. 22 and be examples of inclusion in action. Jared Niemeyer is a National Youth Activation Committee Member and Special Olympics Missouri athlete. This post was originally published on Project UNIFY’s blog.

Nickelodeon’s Day of Play on September 22, 2011 in Washington D.C. was a celebration I believe Mrs. Shriver would have enjoyed!  This day of united play is almost like the sports opportunities promoted through Special Olympics!  Mrs. Shriver’s legacy is all about providing an opportunity for everyone to participate together in sports. No matter how strong we are, how perfect we are or how good we are – Special Olympics lets us try new things and challenges us to be our best every day!

I want to tell everyone about Special Olympics because no matter who you are there’s something for you! You can be a young or older athlete, a unified partner, a fan in the stands, an ambassador, a volunteer, a coach, a fundraiser – ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE!  Whoever you are or whatever you do – you can give to others!  What I’ve found by being an athlete is that I have to work hard to be the best I can be.  All of us have something to give to others; we just have to work for it!  Special Olympics inspires me to do my best in everything I do!  I want to be an active member of my community. I want to give back to all the people who have helped me, encouraged me, taught me, and provided the opportunities for me to be strong, independent, and a young leader.  I want to help Special Olympics grow so that everyone can stand unified in acceptance, respect and dignity for all people.

Mrs. Shriver’s legacy has inspired so many to be more than they thought they could.  She promotes acceptance, hope and dignity.  My dream joins hers so that we can continue carrying the torch and lighting the path for a more accepting world for everyone. I’m proud to be a Special Olympic athlete!  Join us in carrying forward the message and vision of Eunice Kennedy Shriver in promoting each individual to their fullest potential – in athletics, education, community living and employment!  We can live her dream today!