This Week's August 2 through August • COVER STORY Special Olympics debut in prime time ByJonBurlinguM The Special Olympics, the international .competition among mentally handicapped athletes, will find its largest audience ever this month. ABC will telecast the opening ceremonies on Monday, Aug. 3, and highlights of the events themselves will be shown on "ABC's Wide World of Sports" on Saturday, Aug. 15. According to ABC, the Vll International Special Olympics (July 31- BaibaraMudicll Aug. 8 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.) is the largest worldwide amateur sports event of 1987. Producer-director Jeff Margolis adds that the opening ceremonies, to be taped Aug. 2 and telecast the next night, are the first event involving sports for disabled people that will be telecast in.prime time. Nearly two dozen entertainers, sports figures and politicians have volunteered their time, says Margolis. Among them: Barbara Mandrell (the telecast's host), Whitney Houston, Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood, John Ritter, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mary Lou Retton. Composer John Williams will lead the U.S. Navy Band in "We're Lookin' Good," a new march he has written for the occasion, and Susan Saint Some 5,000 athletes are participating in the VM International Special Olympics. ABC broadcasts the opening ceremonies on Monday, Aug. 3. James will talk-about the history of Special Olympics. The performances, profiles and background will be threaded through the spectacle of the opening ceremonies. . Margolis, whose past credits in-' elude the Emmys and the American Music Awards, says his production /•taff sat down a. few weeks ago to .'•atch film of past Special Olympics ompetitions. "We all walked away so inspired by the determination of these athletes/the support of their families and their friends," he says. "At the very first meeting I ever had with the Shrivers, the one statement they made to me was that mentally retarded people are magical, because the one thing they can dp better than any other human being is bring people together." In 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver organized 'the first International Special Olympics in Chicago. She remains chairman of Special Olympics International.
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