Police from West Hartford, Farmington, UConn, and other area departments gathered with Special Olympics athletes and fans in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square on Thursday afternoon.
By Ronni Newton
Local police officers, sweating but smiling in the warm sun, ran down Memorial Road in West Hartford Thursday afternoon and turned onto Isham Road as several legs of the 2021 Law Enforcement Torch Run converged on Blue Back Square for a brief end-of-day rally.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run, like many activities, did not take place in 2020 due to COVID-19, and although Special Olympics athletes were not participating in the run itself, many were on hand waiting for the officers and gathered in the Blue Back Square courtyard to celebrate the end of the day’s event.
Renee DiNino from iHeart Radio served as emcee, and Jackie Turro, senior director of special events for Special Olympics Connecticut, welcomed the participants and athletes to West Hartford.
Mayor Shari Cantor also expressed her thanks, to the athletes for their hard work and passion, and to the coaches, police, and Blue Back Square management and businesses for their support of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Local officers and Special Olympics athletes have been running throughout the state, carrying the Torch with its “Flame of Hope,” to raise awareness of Special Olympics’ year-round sports, health and fitness programs, and to inspire inclusion and acceptance for people of all abilities. The Law Enforcement Torch Run concluded Friday, kicking off the start of the weekend’s Special Olympics Summer Sports Series Opening Ceremony at Fairfield University.
Athletes had the opportunity to participate in various sports at locations throughout Connecticut, including soccer, swimming, cycling, tennis, and track and field.
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