Happy 50th Birthday Special Olympics! Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Celebrates with Athletes
With pride for their teams up in the air and big smiles on display, these athletes are absorbing the celebration
FARGO, N.D. — The Special Olympics have officially kicked off its State Summer Games with the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.
With pride for their teams up in the air and big smiles on display, these athletes are absorbing the celebration.
“The law enforcement torch run, it’s a symbol of hope for the Special Olympics and I really truly believe our athletes realize that so that flame ignites us it fires us up,” said Kathy Meagher, the President and CEO of Special Olympics North Dakota.
And this year is not like the others…
“I’m feeling like it’s the best day ever,” said Macie McCarty, a Special Olympics Athlete.
It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics.
Half a century to be proud of.
“We have athletes in schools, we have athletes working jobs, we have athletes that have families and they are accepted members to the community,” Kathy said.
That includes over 1,600 athletes who compete, nearly 600 of who are competing in the Summer Games.
“And the excitement is to no matter if they make a mistake they are just there for each other. It doesn’t matter what’s happening as long as everyone else is having fun,” said Taylor Ray, a Unified Partner for the Special Olympics.
“I want them to know that Special Olympics is perfect for everyone,” Macie said.
Whether you are an officer in uniform, a parent rooting for their kid or a spectator from town, everyone has something to gain from the events.
There is a lot to be excited for these next few days and everyone says there is no bad mood that these guys can’t fix.
“You will never have more fun in your whole life, and you will never make more friends in a couple of minutes then you will today and they are true genuine friends,” said Genevieve Spicer, a Unified Partner for the Special Olympics.
But it isn’t just about honoring 50 years of success.
Many of the athletes parents say unfortunately many of them have never been to a birthday party.
“So of course that breaks your heart a little bit,” Kathy said.
So, they wanted to change that.
“We put together a present for every single special Olympics athlete and we have a little cake and cupcakes and we’re going to have a birthday party so nobody can say that they didn’t get to go to a birthday party,” Kathy said.
Just like making a wish while blowing out those birthday candles, the flame of hope from that torch is helping brighten their lives.
“You learn the true appreciation of life. The simple things are what we celebrate,” Kathy said.
Governor Burgum has declared June 7th, “Special Olympics Day” in the state of North Dakota.