On Thursday, June 9 local Milfordians helped carry the torch that began the 2013 Special Olympics Delaware summer games. At 10am the symbolic torch traveled through Milford and was passed onto its final destination, the University of Delaware where the games were held Friday, June 10 through Saturday, June 11. The torch traveled 160-mile beginning Wednesday night in Rehoboth Beach and reached its destination at the athletic complex during the Athlete and Family Barbecue.
Participating in the torch run were over 500 law enforcement officers who created a police escort across the state over the three-day journey. Every law enforcement agency in the state of Delaware was represented during the event. Milford Police officer Tim Lord, who has worked for the City of Milford for a decade, participated in his twelfth Special Olympic Torch Run carrying the torch from Sussex County to Kent County.
“I keep coming back each year because what the run stands for and what the Special Olympic games mean for the families and athletes involved,” commented Lord. “The summer games are a big moment in their lives and it is great to see so many individuals in law enforcement involved. “
Involved for his first year, Milford local David Marvel, Correctional Officer representing Sussex Correctional Institute, traveled with the torch through Milford and continued west to its next stop in Harrington, Delaware.
“It is a great cause. It’s definitely a lot of fun to get out there and give even more back to the community outside of being a law enforcement officer,” commented Marvel. “To be running out there with other agencies across Delaware is a great feeling. Being able to all get together and raise money for Special Olympics Delaware just gives you a great sense of pride.”
Councilman Garrett Grier was also among the Milford natives that ran alongside the torch through Milford, participating in his forth year with the annual event.
“I like to run and this is for such a great cause,” commented Grier. “Supporting Special Olympics Delaware athletes really motivates you during the run.”
Special Olympics Delaware provides a year-round program of quality sports
training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual
disabilities and cognitive delays. According to the organization, over 4,000 volunteers makes the program possible for the more than 3,500 athletes who compete in Special Olympics Delaware. Special Olympics Delaware aims to “builds sports skills, confidence, strength, motivation and self-esteem, not just for the athletes, but for everyone involved.”
Special Olympics Delaware took place on Friday, June 10 and featured over 750 athletes competing in six sports: aquatics, bocce, powerlifting, softball, tennis and track and field. Opening ceremonies were held at the Bob Carpenter Center where the arrival of the flame and lighting of the cauldron was done by the Special Olympics Delaware Athlete of the Year and the Torch Runner of the Year.
“The annual Summer Games is the highlight of the year for our participating programs,” said Special Olympics Delaware Executive Director Ann Grunert. “We take great pride in providing our athletes with a first-class event at which they can display their many athletic talents.”