A Des Moines cop leaves on his first trip to Europe today on a unique mission representing an Iowa organization. Sergeant Richard Hickle was chosen by the Iowa Special Olympics to fly to Athen’s Greece where 110 law officers from around the world will light a torch for the Special Olympics World Summer Games. Hickle and the other officers will run the torch via a relay across Europe to Dublin, Ireland — the site of the Special Olympics competition. Hickle oversees the Des Moines portion of the Iowa law enforcement torch run — one of the Iowa Special Olympics’ key fundraisers. He says he was hooked on helping out after seeing the drive and determination of the Special Olympics athletes. He says the athletes in Special Olympics are amazing in the pure joy they have in competing and doing some things that some of us take for granted. Hickle says he’s excited about the trip, and as a regular runner, says he’s ready to carry the torch across Europe.This is the first time the Special Olympics World Summer Games are being held outside the United States.