The Special Olympics, in which mentally retarded children and adults compete, rival the Olympic Games in size and scope. This year's games feature 6,000 athletes representing 104 countries and a star-studded opening ceremony, with such familiar faces as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wayne Gretzky, Chris Burke, Jon Bon Jovi and Debbie Gibson.
But the true stars are the participants themselves, who compete in sports such as swimming, diving, track and field, basketball, gymnastics, softball and equestrian events.
The International Special Olympics All-Star Gala, taped in Minneapolis-St. Paul during the week of July 20, profiles some of the American athletes and sums up the event's drama, excitement and emotion.
"The International Special Olympics All-Star Gala," Thursday 8-10 p.m. ABC. For all ages.
MORE KIDS' SHOWS
"Kidding Around," a repeat episode of the public-affairs show City View (today 5:30-6 p.m. KABC) features fun and inexpensive (or free) things to do with kids in Los Angeles. For parents.
A trio of new Sunday morning animated series on Nickelodeon provides some relief from the kids' programming August doldrums: Doug (Sundays 10-10:30 a.m., also Saturdays 7-7:30 p.m. beginning Aug. 24) stars "average Kid" Doug Funnie; Rugrats (Sundays 10:30-11 a.m., also Sundays 7-7:30 p.m. beginning Aug. 25) looks at life from the comic perspective of a toddler, and The Ren & Stimpy Show (11-11:30 a.m.) follows the adventures of a Chihuahua and his feline friend. A special presentation of the three shows also airs tonight 8-9:30. For all ages.
Those squeaky-voiced cartoon chipmunks are back in The Chipmunk Adventure (today 10-11:30 a.m. Disney Channel), a 1987 feature-length cartoon in which the chipper heroes unwittingly act as diamond smugglers. For 2- to 11-year-olds.
Parker Lewis Can't Lose! begins its second season (today 7:30-8 p.m. Fox). For ages 8 and up.
We all know this is really one giant commercial for the movie, but The Rocketeer: Excitement in the Air (today 8:30-9 p.m. Disney Channel), hosted by the film's star Bill Campbell, also looks at man's historical attempts to fly without a plane--from the Icarus myth to rocket packs that can propel people through outer space. For all ages.
Still going like a house afire, the New Kids on the Block return with No More Games (Tuesday 8-9 p.m. Disney Channel), a concert taped in Providence, R.I., featuring the teen heartthrobs going through their repertoire of pop hits. For 6- to 15-year-olds.
Danny Glover narrates Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby (Monday 8-8:30 a.m. Showtime), an adaptation of the folk tale involving a wily hare and his foxy nemesis. For 2- to 11-year-olds.
The 1987 Australian film The Year My Voice Broke (Thursday 8-10 p.m. and Saturday noon-2 p.m. KCOP), set in the 1960s, is a coming-of-age story about a teen-ager infatuated with a troubled girl. For ages 14 and up.
The classic 1962 film The Miracle Worker (early Friday 1-3 a.m. KTTV) is a dramatic telling of how teacher Annie Sullivan helped deaf, blind and mute Helen Keller communicate with the outside world. For all ages.
Mary Tyler Moore hosts How to Raise a Drug-Free Child (Friday 6-6:30 a.m. and 4-4:30 p.m. HBO), an award-winning informational show that stresses education as one means to combat drug abuse in children. For parents.
Morgan Fairchild stars in Storybook Cinema: Sleeping Beauty (Saturday 7-9 p.m. Disney Channel), a rendition of the famous fairy-tale about a princess who should never have gone near that spinning wheel. For all ages.
What's it like to be a 16-year-old growing up in the San Fernando Valley? Or, more specifically, what was it like to be a 16-year-old growing up in the San Fernando Valley 10 years ago? Tune into the Jodie Foster film Foxes (Saturday 3-5 p.m. KTLA) to find out. For 13- to 17-year-olds.