Shelby County Special Olympics bring smiles to many

ALABASTER, AL (WBRC) - It's more than just winning a ribbon.  Today in Alabaster, about 200 special education students from 32 Shelby County schools took part in a Special Olympics track and field event at Thompson Middle School.

"We want all the kids to experience the different events. Have fun. Competition, show off their ribbons when they get back to school," Valinda Pate Shelby County Physical Education teacher said.

Many of the winners enjoyed getting ribbons. Most enjoyed the track events.

"Track and field. I think the track is fun," 14-year-old Anthony Strange of Chelsea Middle School said.  Remedios Wooten of Alabaster says her 12-year-old son Paul was talking about the competition since Monday.

"He is counting the days. 'Mom it's four more days. Three more days. Two more days.' Then the day comes," Wooten said.

There was a big celebrity on hand to sign autographs at the event: former University of Alabama football player and a current volunteer football coach at Thompson Middle School, Thomas Rayam.

"When you come out here, you see the smiles and see the joy of their aspirations. Just to keep that warm feeling. You want to do it over and over again," Rayam said.

Certainly, a lot of these kids enjoy this event. A lot of folks will tell you this means more than just winning ribbons.

"The ribbon means nothing to him. All he wants to do is have fun," Wooten said.

"We had fun today. That's good," Strange said.

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