Special Olympics Torch Run made good progress in Rowan County on Tuesday

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 12:01 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A parade of shuffling feet and blue lights made its way through Rowan County on Tuesday morning. The Torch Run to raise money for Special Olympics featured law enforcement officers from several agencies as well as Special Olympians and volunteers.

It started in Kannapolis in southern Rowan County and steadily made its way to Salisbury.

“Today through Salisbury it’s a little over 5 miles, there’s another group of us that’s going to take it through Spencer today to Davidson County, so about 11 and half miles total,” said organizer P.J. Smith

A crowd of Special Olympians and well-wishers were there to greet them at every stop along the way. The group stopped at Stallings Memorial Baptist Church for a quick drink of water, popsicle, and a group photo. Organizers like Smith, who is also a Salisbury Police officer, say this is one of their favorite events of the year.

“It’s important to me because I’ve been a part of Special Olympics for over 30 years, my brother being an athlete,” Smith added.

The stop at the church was pretty quick and then, back on the road again, running, biking, and riding through downtown Salisbury.

“There’s no flat spaces in Salisbury, but once we get to Spencer it’s a pretty good grade,” Smith added.

Debbie Martin was especially proud. Patrick is her son, and her son Benji is an athlete.

“I am very proud of the dedication of the Salisbury Police Department and Patrick representing his brother,” Martin said. “It just shows the excitement of Special Olympics.

And the Torch Run will make it possible for athletes to compete in the Special Olympics without having to be concerned with any costs.

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