The Power of Friendship with Special Olympian, Loretta Claiborne

04.15.2019 - By Meaningful Conversations with Maria Shriver

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"And she said to me, "How would you like to be my friend?" I looked at her and I started to cry. I said, "I really don't have no friends," and she went in her purse, She got a little card and it says Special Olympics...And says, "I want you to write me." I said, "I can't write that good. You won't be able to understand." She said, "Don't worry about it. I want you to write me. I want you to be my friend." And we start coordinating back and forth...writing back and forth...I said, "Well, Mrs. Shriver..." she looked at me and says, "You don't call me Mrs. Shriver. You call me Eunice, you understand? We're friends​.'"
 -Loretta Claiborne
If you’re looking for some real inspiration in your life, look no further than Loretta Claiborne.  Loretta is someone I’ve known and admired for quite some time. She is a world-class runner, a gifted motivational speaker – and, just so happens to be a Special Olympics athlete and a person with an intellectual disability.  Get this, she’s also received two honorary doctorate degrees; completed 26 marathons; received the 1996 ESPY Award-Arthur Ashe Award for Courage; has a 4th degree black belt in karate; and was inducted into the Women in Sports Hall of Fame and the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.  Loretta also appeared twice on the Oprah show, communicates in four languages and is fluent in American sign language.  I mean WOW.  Loretta is a woman who has NEVER let her disability hold her back. And her mission is to inspire the rest of us to reach our full potential as well, and not let limitations in life hold us back.  I recently caught up with Loretta at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi and I am so thrilled this morning that I get to share her voice here with you today. ​  If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe. 
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