Saturday, June 25, 2011

Special Olympics

Maria Shriver has left her troubles behind and ventured off for a special holiday in Greece.
The 55-year-old former news presenter arrived in Athens yesterday for the opening ceremonies of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games at the Panathenian Stadium in central Athens.
With her four children by her side, California's former first lady looked a little tired, yet happy to be taking part in the ceremonies that her mother founded nearly five decades ago.
She will no doubt be hoping to leave the saga behind involving her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger and his love child, at least for a few days.
The former California first lady wrote about her excitement on her website.
'I'm thrilled to be heading to Athens to join more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes for the World Summer Games.
'Who could have imagined that the summer camp my mom started in
our backyard almost 50 years ago could have turned into a global movement of inclusion, acceptance and unity representing the hopes and dreams of 3.7 million athletes worldwide?'
Wearing a khaki dress with a credential around her neck that said 'Former First Lady of California,' Maria attended a news conference with her brother Tim Shriver at the Hilton Hotel in Athens.
She will spend the next few days in Greece, where athletes with learning disabilities from more than 170 countries are taking part in the games, which are staged every four years.
Shriver is even scheduled to play a special role in the opening ceremonies by walking in the Parade of Athletes with Team Afghanistan.
On Sunday, she will also speak at a ceremony that will be dedicating a statue and square in honour of her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
This is the first Special Olympics to take place since Eunice, who founded the games, died in 2009.
A string of other celebrities also plan to attend including Stevie Wonder, Vanessa Williams, Nadia Comanici, Brooklyn Decker, Michelle Kwan and Jill Biden, wife of the U.S. vice president, as she leads a presidential delegation to the games.
The Special Olympics will run through July 4.

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