Special Olympic Torch Run Passes Through Lynchburg - WSET.com - ABC13

Special Olympic Torch Run Passes Through Lynchburg

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Reporter: Carleigh Griffeth

Lynchburg, VA- You may have seen it rolling through the Lynchburg area this week. Virginia's Special Olympic Torch Run is an eight day event, ending in Richmond, that signals the start of our state's Special Olympic Games.

More than 2,000 police officers carry it across the state, covering almost 2,000 miles.

We spoke with some of the officers who did it, and for them, this it's much more than a fundraiser.

This cause really hits home for them. And pounding the pavement for a couple of miles is their way of showing support for the special needs people in their lives.

Eight miles in the hill city sounds pretty tough, because it is. But for this bunch of officers, it's all about perspective.

"It's funny when you go up the hills you start, your legs start telling you that you're 48-years-old. Then you just, you remember those kids you know that have the special challenges," said Bryan Richey, an LUPD Security Officer.

"And it helps keep a proper perspective on, not to complain basically. You know you see people who have it harder than we do that don't take an issue with it. So it just gives us a little encouragement to do better," said Bryan Williams, a Lynchburg Police Officer.

Some officers had someone special in mind during their run. For Officer Bryan Richey, it's his co-worker's daughter.

"And I did it for a very special little girl by the name of Jennifer Sloan. She's just got an open heart. It's not that she's special needs, but she's got a special heart. And she loves unconditionally, never focuses on the challenges that she has," said Richey.

For Officer Karisa Guetterman, it's her little cousin, Grant.

"He's just the happiest kid ever. It's one of those, you take life for granted until you see something like that. He's just happy all the time. It's just great," said Karisa Guetterman, an LUPD Security Officer.

Wednesday the Liberty Police Department got the torch from Bedford PD, and passed it along to Lynchburg PD. Then Lynchburg officers gave the torch to the Amherst County Sheriff's Office, which will continue the run Thursday morning.

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