Special Olympics Defunded--and Re-funded

By Lulu Clogher

In recent weeks the funding for the Special Olympics was on the brink of being eliminated. The Special Olympics were not listed in Trump’s first three fiscal budget proposals for 2018 through 2020.

 

       The Special Olympics is a year-round program that provides teens and adults with the ability to participate in Olympic sports. In 2017 the U.S federal government funded about $15 million, covering only a portion of the $150 million total costs of the Olympics. On March 28 of 2019, Trump stated: “The Special Olympics will be funded, I just told my people.” It is my belief that the Special Olympics was the start of a revolution that changed how people with special needs were viewed in the United States.

 

        After hearing about the funding issues concerning the Special Olympics, it inspired me to learn a little more about its history. Eunice Kennedy, the sister of late President John F Kennedy, was the mastermind behind the Special Olympics.

 

        There was a time in the United States years ago where people with any sort of disability were a source of embarrassment to their families. They were educated in separate, special schools and were often hospitalized. Eunice Kennedy wanted to put a stop to this after her oldest sister Rosemary was put through a lobotomy surgery that was botched, and she ended up staying in a mental institution from the age of 23, for the rest of her life. This is why she went on to become the founder of the Special Olympics which continues to be a very important event to many.