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DPS hosts track meet for all abilities

Special Olympics Colorado put on an event for Denver Elementary school students.

DENVER — This is the type of event where it may be hard to tell who enjoys it more, teacher Peter Wolf or his 9-year-old student Daniel Moreno Roldan.

"I've known Daniel for a very long time. He is the happiest boy you ever met in your life," Wolf said.

Wolf is a teacher at Marrama Elementary School in Green Valley Ranch. Daniel is a severe special needs student diagnosed with cerebral palsy. 

He can't speak and uses a wheelchair full-time, but Wolf says he understands everything that's going on and can communicate effectively with his expressions.

"You ready to put a big smile. Yay!" Wolf said.

They are attending the Denver Public Schools Unified Track and Field competition put on by Special Olympics Colorado.

"Well, it's all about inclusion. It's all about welcoming all kids to come together and play together on the same field and so we have kids with and without disabilities," said Mindy Watrous, Special Olympics Colorado CEO. 

Wolf said this event is a great break from the routine for students like Daniel.

"I think also if its something fun for them to do to be outside and to enjoy," Wolf said. "It's something different for them."

Watrous said the important thing is that the special needs students are treated as equals.

"They are often isolated, ridiculed," Watrous said. "They should have that opportunity to be celebrated for the athletes that they are and for the students that they are."

It's an event that makes it hard to tell: Who enjoys it more? The kid with the big smile or the teacher having fun like a kid again.

"It's great for the kids to get out of school, to compete, to do all this, to run, to race, to have a lot of fun," Wolf said. "They are just amazing."

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