The Special Olympics Athlete Oath is “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt.”
It has come to embody the movement started by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1962 with a summer camp in her Maryland backyard. In a new 30 for 30 Short, Brave in the Attempt (ESPN, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET) – her daughter Maria Shriver shines a light on the creation of the organization now made up of more than 4.5 million athletes all over the world. Shriver executive produced the film; Fritz Mitchell directed.
Shriver, an award-winning journalist and producer, Special Olympics International board member, founder of Shriver Media and The Shriver Report and activist for social justice and equality, spoke with Front Row about the short in advance of its debut.
How did the idea for this film come about?
The idea came from watching my kids watch 30 for 30s and learning about the transformational aspect of sports through these 30 for 30s. And thinking to myself, “My mother deserves to be in this series.” That’s how it came about, because she used sports to change the world. Long before anybody thought of sports that way.
Do you have a favorite ESPN film and why?
I really like The Two Escobars and The Book of Manning, both for different reasons, but I thought they were both extremely good stories, with incredible characters, filled with information and really interesting.
You’ve said before that your boys are always watching ESPN. Is there something specific you’d like them to take away from this film when they watch it?
That one person can make a difference and that their grandmother wasn’t afraid to play with the boys and change the boys from the inside out. I’m super proud of her and my hope is that my children and many other young people will see how hard she fought and how much she accomplished.
Editor’s Note: For more on ESPN’s global coverage of the Special Olympics World Games, visit ESPN MediaZone.