THUMBS UP: One of the most uplifting sporting events of the year occurred Wednesday morning as more than 200 athletes competed at Westminster High School in the Spring Games for Special Olympics of Carroll County. The athletes went up against each other in running, standing long jump, softball throw and other track and field events. “All of our students have ability, in our classrooms, in our schools and our communities. And our student-athletes here today at Special Olympics: we came to see you in competition today and celebrate you,” said Superintendent of Carroll County Public Schools Steve Lockard. Added Commissioner Ed Rothstein, R-District 5: “Run hard, throw far, but most importantly, have fun.” They did. Mitchell Smolinski, a ninth-grader at Westminster High School, led the Pledge of Allegiance for the gathered crowd, called the Special Olympics “beautiful.” Laurie Brewer, the area director for the Carroll County program of Special Olympics Maryland who has been with the organization for 10 years, told us: “I’ve been in sports my whole life. There are no athletes like these guys. They’re competitive, they work hard, they want to win. But if they don’t, they’re happy because their friend won. It’s completely different.” Yes it is. And kudos to Special Olympics Carroll County and all the volunteers for making it happen.