Beijing moviegoers got their first look at the 1991 film, “Terminator 2,” thanks to a campaign by its star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to promote the Special Olympics in China, The Wall Street Journal reported June 1.
Seven of the actor’s movies were screened or broadcast on television for the first time during an eight-day festival that concluded last weekend, with all proceeds benefiting the Special Olympics.
The Chinese branch of the international group was launched in 1985 and serves 50,000 youngsters, who can participate in the same sporting events for people with mental retardation that are offered to participants in 160 other nations.
China hopes within four years to expand its programs to serve 500,000 children.
Still, that would serve only a fraction of the need, the Journal said.
Based on worldwide norms, China has an estimated 20 million people with mental retardation.
China’s special schools, however, serve only an estimated 360,000 children and adults in need.
“I’ve been all over the world,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’ve visited so many countries on behalf of Special Olympics over the years and seen the most amazing conditions. In some places, it’s like the Dark Ages. Some kids with mental retardation are locked into hospitals. Some who are crippled are actually chained to wheelchairs.”
Mental retardation, he said. “shouldn’t be any different than a knee injury. It’s just another obstacle to overcome.”