Special Olympics Torch Run lights a fire through LSBY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER It was almost 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 29 when police motorcycle escorts stopped traffic at the corner of Lundeen Parkway and Highway 9 for the passing of the Special Olympics Torch which was headed to Fort Lewis.
After catching their breath at the hand-off point, both Summers and Lorentzen looked at each other and smiled.
“This is all worth it,” Summers said of running the Torch Relay and representing the Police force for the Washington State Special Olympics.
“The weather was good too,” Lorentzen commented.
Summers explained that the Torch Run began around 3:00 p.m. in Blaine, WA, and that Drummel has been running since the beginning.
“She’s a distance runner,” he said.
The two got in the squad car and headed in the direction of the other runners for the final meeting point of the evening. Upon arriving at the meet point, everyone gathered around shaking hands, smiling, and discussing the morning run across the trestle.
Summers, who has been a part of the organization of this segment of the Torch Relay for two years now, said that this is a way to give.
“This is our part to raise money,” Summers said. “This is also very important to the Chief.”
Since its conception in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation,
the Special Olympics has grown from 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada to over 1.7 million athletes worldwide in 150 countries.
The idea of the Special Olympics is to bring all persons with intellectual disabilities together in a larger group under similar conditions for competition where they can be challenged and respected by their peers, friends, and families.
The mission as written states:
“The mission of Special Olympics Washington is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Washington provides athletes continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes, and the community.”
This year’s Special Olympics Summer Games was held at Fort Lewis on May 30 through June 1.