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Special Olypmics mantra

For 31 years, the Cahaba Center has hosted the track and field regional qualifying Special Olympics meet in Selma.

Volunteers took time away from school and work to help as timers, give out ribbons or record times and distances of the 125 participants in Wednesday’s event.

Although a first place ribbon is ideally desired, these participants are more thrilled just to be competing.

Mayor George Evans led participants and onlookers in the Special Olympics Oath prior to the games. “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” Evans said.

Athletes of all calibers can take a note from this chant. Only one person will take home the blue ribbon or gold, but everyone can give the race his or her best shot.

The competitors of the Special Olympics games have grasped this concept that other athletes may not always remember.

These competitors are racing against the clock, or simply racing to finish. Whether racing by foot or wheelchair, they all will cross the finish line.

Lifting their arms as they cross the ribbon at the end of the line, these competitors are proud of themselves always. If they happen to win gold, they will proudly wear the medal for as long the entire year, according to LaFon Barlow, executive director of the Cahaba Center.

At the end of the day, they did their best. That’s all any of us can ask for.