EUGENE, Ore. — Local law enforcement agencies hit the pavement Wednesday to draw attention to this weekend’s Special Olympics Summer Games.
The torch run started in Ashland, and on day three of the relay, officers made a pit stop at Valley River Center to meet up with athletes competing in this weekend’s Special Olympics.
About 25 members of police departments in Eugene, Springfield and the University of Oregon ran through town with the Flame of Hope torch. They cheered on Special Olympics athletes who ran alongside them.
“It makes me feel good that I know that they support us Special Olympics athletes,” said Special Olympics athlete Jordan Schwartz.
“Look at the enthusiasm. Everybody gets along. Look at the smiles on their face. Look at the smiles on our face,” said Sgt. Bob McDermed, Eugene Police Department.
Those glowing smiles brought out more than 1,000 members of law enforcement agencies statewide for this year-round global event. The torch run raises millions of dollars for the Special Olympics every year. Thursday morning, Junction City Police officers will continue the relay to Corvallis. The final destination will be Newberg for Saturday’s summer games ceremony.
This year, athletes from Eugene will be competing in golf, softball and track and field, among other sports.