ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver believes there's a certain voice that is stalling his efforts to start his planned book about Special Olympics athletes: his mother's.
The son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver said Thursday that it was his mother's drive for perfection for the Special Olympics that makes him want to write a good book and share powerful stories about the athletes they've helped. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the late sister of President John F. Kennedy, founded the Special Olympics in 1968.
"You know, my mother was just....so hard to please because she had such high expectations" for the athletes, Shriver told The Associated Press during a gathering of Special Olympics organizers in Albuquerque. "Every time someone like me would say, 'Oh, that was good,' she would say, 'Hmmm, not good enough."'
Shriver, who announced last month that he was taking time off to write the book, said that's the voice of perfection he constantly hears as he tries to get started on his project.
Organizers unveiled details for the 2014 U.S. Special Olympics in New Jersey and the 2015 World Special Olympics in Southern California. It will be the first time the organization will hold two large events in the U.S. in back-to-back years.
Marc Edenzon, president of Special Olympics New Jersey, said the games in 2014 will expand to include 3,500 athletes and will introduce baseball and a triathlon.
Patrick McClenahan, president and CEO of the 2015 Special Olympic World Games, said around 7,000 athletes from more than 71 countries are expected to attend the games in California for what could be the largest gathering for the Special Olympics in its history.
McClenahan said those games will include art and music competitions for the first time.
Shriver said as demanding as his mother was, he believed that she would have been happy by the expansion of the games more than 40 years after the group's founding.
"I think she'd be excited," Shriver said. "But she'd be fiercely on top of (staff) to make sure that you stop at nothing (so) that when people see these games they see excellence."