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1983 Special Olympics in Baton Rouge

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1983-07-15

Duration: 00:26:53

Subjects: SPECIAL OLYMPICS | Sports | People with disabilities | People with mental disabilities | Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.) | Southern University Marching Band


  • George, Beth Host
  • Young, David Reporter
  • Ekings, Robyn Reporter
  • Bush, Charles Producer
  • Bankhead, John Performer
  • Treen, Dave Speaker
  • Shriver, Eunice Kennedy Speaker
  • Boone, Debbie Performer
  • Kennedy, Edward Speaker
  • Wilton, Billy Interviewee
  • Ricks, Will Interviewee
  • Drumm, Darlene Interviewee
  • Naber, John Interviewee
  • Jenner, Bruce Interviewee
  • Buchwald, Art Interviewee
  • Schwarznegger, Arnold Interviewee
  • Gifford, Frank Interviewee


This special episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” from July 15, 1983, features comprehensive coverage of the 1983 Special Olympics International Summer Games from the Louisiana State University (LSU) campus in Baton Rouge. It includes David Young’s report on the opening ceremonies at Tiger Stadium, including: the parade of nations; speeches by Governor Dave Treen, Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy; and performances by John Bankhead, Debbie Boone, and the Southern University Marching Band. Young reports that athletes from 49 countries and all 50 states participated in the games. It also includes Robyn Ekings’ profile of swimmer Dean Wilton from Baton Rouge. Ekings follows Wilton as he prepares for the games, raises the Special Olympics flag during the opening ceremony, visits the Olympic Village, and participates in the swimming competition. She also interviews: Billy Wilton, his father; Will Ricks, the assistant director of the Louisiana Special Olympics; and Darlene Drumm, his swimming coach. This episode also includes: interviews with the celebrity supporters of the Special Olympics, including Olympic swimmer John Naber, Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, columnist Art Buchwald, bodybuilder Arnold Schwarznegger, and sportscaster Frank Gifford; highlights from the track and field, gymnastics, soccer, and swimming competitions; medal ceremonies; and interviews with the athletes. Host: Beth George