“We know that individuals with disabilities have their own unique set of abilities,” Governor Walker said. “And Special Olympics Wisconsin provides them with the opportunity to train, compete, and demonstrate their athletic talent. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an event very close to my heart, and it’s an honor to join the athletes and law enforcement officers here today to kick off the 2017 Special Olympics Summer Games.”
The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics and educate the nation about the gifts, talents, and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. In Wisconsin alone, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $30 million since 1986. This year, nearly 1,300 volunteers representing 170 state law enforcement agencies throughout the state are participating in the run.
Every year for the relay, law enforcement officers are partnered with a Special Olympics athlete as they run the “Flame of Hope” to kick-off points throughout the state, ending in Stevens Point for the commencement of the Special Olympics Wisconsin State Summer Games.
The 2017 State Summer Games in Stevens Point runs from June 8 – June 10 and 1,377 athletes are expected to compete in 62 activities, including aquatics, track and field, soccer, and power lifting.