Some law-enforcement officers around Iowa are on the run today, but they’re not chasing suspects. The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run, taking place in several cities around the state, supports the Iowa Special Olympics. Organizer Jeanette Steinfeldt says they began Monday with Torch Run events in Davenport and Bettendorf, and runners hit the road today in Mount Pleasant and the Iowa City area.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) there will be local runs in Grinnell, Newton, Mitchellville, Indianola, and Fort Dodge legs. Steinfeldt says Special Olympics athletes will be running along with the peace officers participating to help raise awareness of Iowa Special Olympics as well as the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
The final leg on Thursday begins at noon in Des Moines’ Nollen Plaza, as law-enforcement officers from around the state carry the Flame of Hope to Ames where the games will open at Hilton Coliseum on May 18. More than three-thousand Special Olympics athletes are competing in the state summer games, which are being held May 18 through the 20th.
That’s right — the “summer” Iowa Special Olympics are going on for three days in May, as Steinfeldt explains they’ve been moved up a bit to make way for another special event. The first-ever Special Olympic National Games will be held in Ames the first full week in July, with three-thousand athletes coming from all over the U.S. to compete July 2-7.
Steinfeldt explains up till now, winners at the state level could advance to world competition, but that meant only one athlete from Iowa participated, and sometimes had to travel to a foreign country. This will give a national-level competition that lots more of the athletes can attend. She says they need volunteers for those games, and anyone interested can sign up or learn more at “2006 National Games dot-org.”
Related web sites:
Iowa Special Olympics