NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Special Olympians from Miami-Dade got their game on Sunday in one fantastic competition. It was the Special Olympics for Miami-Dade County at Traz Powell Stadium at Miami-Dade College North Campus.
This family event featured an Olympic Village with music, entertainment, activities and food. The Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders, the University of Miami Cheerleaders, the Miami Heat Dancers and other local celebrities also lent a hand.
But the stars of this track and field event were the athletes, like David Rams, who competed in a total of five events.
“The long jump, the high jump, shot put, 100 meter and 400 meter run,” said Rams but added he’s best at the 400 meter run. “I got more endurance.”
Several thousand people turned out to watch more than 500 athletes including Shakira and Vanessa who competed in the ball toss and 50 meter dash.
“I’m going to speed,” laughed Shakira.
“I’m excited because we have to run and all that stuff,” said Vanessa who said she was going to try her hardest to win.
Ralph Renich, 13-years-old is a volunteer. He was assigned Special Olympian Antoine.
“It makes me feel great to help the kids out,” said Renich.
Ed Smith is part of the team who runs the event.
“I build coin laundries for a living. This is what I do for my passion,” exclaimed Smith proudly.
Smith has been aboard since the very beginning, 31 years ago when the North Miami Beach Optimists decided to hold Special Olympics Games.
“Once you do this, you’re sort of hooked.,” said Smith. “And you see the joy in their face and the happiness, it makes 6 months worth of work to give them this one special day worth it all.”
Buckie Singer, an organizer, agreed.
“I get a very good feeling out of this,” said Singer. “Just look at these kids’ faces, the enthusiasm they show when they’re competing.”
Athletes who had exceptional showings in Sunday’s track and field events qualified to move on to the Florida Special Olympics in Orlando this summer.