Reflecting on her mother Eunice's legacy, who founded the Special Olympics and whom the park is named after, Maria
said, "Mummy would be thrilled that this park is in Athens because it's named after the Goddess Athena. And as we all know, the Goddess Athena is the goddess of wisdom, but she is never depicted without her shield and without her helmet because she is a warrior. At heart, she is a warrior. And I think as every woman knows, you have to be both. You have to know when to be wise. You have to know when to be compassionate. And you have to know when to put on your helmet, take out your spear, put on your shield and go to war
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– and fight for what you believe in. And Mummy was, at her heart, a warrior."