Maria Shriver,Special Olympics International board member and executive producer of ESPN’s 30 for 30 short, “Brave in the Attempt,” on her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Special Olympics, sat down with Grantland’s Chris Connelly July 22 to discuss the making of the film (airing on ESPN 7/25 at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT and on Grantland.com starting 7/28), Special Olympics World Games (opening ceremony on ESPN 7/25 at 9pm ET/6pm PT) and her new Shriver Report Snapshot poll: Insight in Intellectual Disabilities in the 21st Century.
“We saw that the country is still very much divided when it comes to intellectual disabilities,” Shriver said of the Snapshot’s findings. “Half the nation doesn’t know what it is or has had no experience or interaction with someone who has an intellectual disability. Which is why I think this ESPN partnership is so valuable, because people will be able see — many for the first time — that people with intellectual disabilities are confident athletes. That they are our giving speeches, that they have jobs, that they have very viable, valuable lives.”
Shriver said she believed her mother deserved to be the subject of a 30 for 30 because “she saw that sports was a place that she could make a statement. She didn’t start in politics, she looked at sports and said ‘If I can prove that people with intellectual disabilities are competitors, are winners, are brave, you’re gonna have to change what you think about people with intellectual disabilities.’ And she used that momentum to create political, cultural and social change.”
Watch the full interview above & find the full facts revealed in the Shriver Report Snapshot: Insight into Intellectual Disabilities in the 21st Century, here. And tune into ESPN’s coverage of the Special Olympics World Games 7/25 through 8/2.