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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It was training day for 400 Special Olympians who were back together again at the Mel Reese Country golf course.

They were there to hit a few golf balls at First Tee Miami before the big competition begins.

“The whole idea is for them get a chance to do something that they normally wouldn’t do,” said John Moscoso, Program Director for First Tee Miami.

Children and some adults from various schools and developmental centers around Miami Dade County were preparing for their very own Special Olympics. They all have special needs but their teachers and coaches say nothing is holding them back.

“They’re all unique in their own way, there are not any two kids that are the same and they all do what anyone else does, what you and I do, they do at their own pace,” said autism teacher Jacquelyn Lara.

There were hits and some misses but they are all athletes learning new skills, whether it was driving, putting, or learning the difference between woods and irons, they got it.

“I’m a lot excited because it’s my first time,” said Special Olympian Valentino Ultima.

They were building confidence, but for some like John who CBS4 News spoke to, that was already there.

“I got one foot straight down and then poof and gone,” he said, motioning that ball was out of there.

“Whether it’s the best shot in the world or it’s a short shot, to them it’s the best shot in the world,” said Moscoso.

By Rielle Creighton


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