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Special Olympics 'Special Spirit in China Award Of Excellence' Presented to Dedicated Friends of Special Olympics and City of Shanghai

SHANGHAI, China, Oct. 5 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- In a star-studded event at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Special Olympics honored twelve extraordinary individuals and the city of Shanghai for the "special" contributions they have made and continue to make to promote and raise awareness of the understanding and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities, and the Special Olympics movement around the world. Guests included Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Timothy Shriver, Maria Shriver, Quincy Jones, Colin Farrell, Bianca Jagger, Donna deVerona and Special Olympics International Global Messengers with performances by Vanessa L. Williams, Lang Lang, Sun Rue and Yang Chen.

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"All of the 'Special Spirit in China Award of Excellence' honorees have been longtime fans of the Special Olympics movement. They've dedicated their lives to enhance our efforts and educate the world about the accomplishments of individuals with intellectual disabilities," said Special Olympics International Chairman Timothy Shriver.

Special Spirit in China Awards of Excellence were presented to:

-- Nelson Mandela for his "special lifetime global leadership in

promoting human dignity"

-- Deng Pufang for his "special leadership in promoting understanding

and acceptance through sport"

-- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for "his special

leadership in raising the profile and awareness for Special Olympics


-- Vanessa Williams for her "special artistry and commitment in the

support of Special Olympics worldwide"

-- Nadia Comanici and Yao Ming for their "special international

contributions to the glory of sport"

-- Special Olympics athlete Stacey Johnston for her "special

inspiration and leadership among athletes of all nations"

-- Drs. Paul Berman and Stephen Pearlman for their "special

contributions to the health and well being of people with

intellectual disabilities."

-- The city of Shanghai for its "special hospitality, grace and

friendship in hosting the 2007 World Summer Games"

-- Ray and Stephanie Lane for their "special support and encouragement

of the global Special Olympics movement"

-- Air Marshall Denzil Joseph Keelor for his "special efforts

enhancing the Special Olympics movement in India"

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition to 2.5 million adults and children with intellectual disabilities across 165 countries. The Special Olympics Movement offers one of the world's greatest platforms for acceptance and inclusion for all people--regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or cultural differences. Corporate sponsors of Special Olympics include: adidas, Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, DHL, Mattel, Inc. and Mattel Children's Foundation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Find out how you can become involved at

SOURCE Special Olympics
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