Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America Brings ‘Flame of Hope’ to Mississippi

Every four years, Special Olympic athletes from Mississippi join competitors from around the globe at the Special Olympic World Games.
For the first time, Mississippians are carrying the ‘Flame of Hope’ across the state as part of the first ever ‘Special Olympics Unified Relay across America’.
President and CEO of Special Olympics Mississippi, Tony Bahou said, “ For it to come to Mississippi, it’s one of those rare times, once in a lifetime deals, so it’s really unique and this is the first Unified Relay of its kind.”
In a hand to hand exchange, thousands of participants will walk, bike or run a segment of the relay through all 50 states in an effort to raise money for the Special Olympics.
Lt. Christopher De Back with the Biloxi Police said, “Without us being able to donate to this worthy cause, we couldn’t help pay for the balls or the equipment or the medals.” Lt. De Back has been involved with the Special Olympics for 15 years and it’s something he feels passionate about: “They’re wonderful. They are truly the most amazing athletes in the world. Without the athletes, we wouldn’t be involved and it’s great they give us the opportunity to be the guardians of the flame for them.”
Locals weren’t the only ones carrying the ‘Flame of Hope’, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department will also escort flame carriers throughout the states.
Participants started carrying the torch in Florida. Tomorrow, the torch will travel Hwy 90 toward Louisiana and eventually it well end in Los Angeles on July 25th for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
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