Some special athletes made Thursday an extra special day at Stocker Stadium.

It was the Special Olympics track and field day for Mesa County School District 51, and hundreds of special athletes participated in various events including the 50-meter and 100-meter dash, softball throw, jumping, and relay.

For the opening ceremonies which entailed running the torch into the stadium, a parade of athletes, the release of doves, and the national anthem was sung by one of the students accompanied by a clarinet.

Some of the athletes were able to run on their own, while others were assisted down the track. There were those that couldn't run but still made it across the finish line as spectators cheered them on with encouragement.

The day brought smiles and tears to many eyes, including my own. This was indeed a very special day for some very special athletes. The next time there is a Special Olympics event in town, and there's one coming up in June, I would encourage you to attend.