CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA)- A group of law enforcement officers is running nearly 200 miles to support the South Carolina Special Olympics, through the Torch Run.
The Special Olympics exists to give athletes with disabilities the chance to compete in a variety of sports.
It’s something Keith Thrower said he hopes his son can participate in one day.
“Just turned 5, Hampton, and he has down syndrome,” Thrower said.
“He taught me how to really love. All he does is show me the beauty of life itself,” Thrower said.
He said Hampton is the reason he started the Torch Run.
“We’re going to be running the torch run, the Special Olympics torch run from Clemson to the State House,” Thrower said.
During the run, dozens of police officers from across the state come together in a 140-mile relay to escort a torch from the Upstate to the Midlands.
“I do it for them, and the athletes inspire me to burn it in my heart to work for them and be able to be included,” International Law Enforcement Torch Council Lee Barrett said.
The torch’s purpose is to spread awareness and bring hope to the 30,000 Special Olympic athletes in South Carolina.
Thrower said, “These individuals will change your life. They will make you see again, the joy and love that’s in their hearts and when you watch them compete it doesn’t matter whether they win or lose, they’re just enjoying the ability to compete.”
After the start of the Special Olympics tomorrow, the torch will be taken to Fort Jackson, to light the cauldron for the summer games.