Torch for Special Olympics passes from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid

Law enforcement joins the run to support Special Olympics

The Special Olympics Torch run made its way through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid June 1.

The Special Olympics Torch run made its way through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid June 1. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— The Olympic torch was passed from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid on June 1 by Special Olympic athletes and members of law enforcement.

The torch is making its way across New York to the University of Buffalo for the 2012 State Summer Games.

About 23 runners made the 10-mile run, beginning at the Saranac Lake village offices and ending at the Olympic Oval in Lake Placid.

“We do this to bring awareness to our Special Olympians. We had four today running with us from Saranac Lake,” State Recruitment Trooper Bernie Bullis said. “The next step of the journey is to pass the torch over to Warren County and follow it to Buffalo.”

The Olympians from Saranac Lake — Josh Ryan, Jason Borden, Daric Pickering and Rick Sullivan — are members of the Adirondack Redneck team. The AR members ran the last few miles with their trainer, Donna Walsh, to bring the torch into Lake Placid.

“They train and compete all year round and it’s time for our summer athletes to compete,” Walsh said.

Along with the Olympic athletes and members of the New York State Special Olympics, members of the State Police and other law enforcement members ran as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics. Bullis said runners included State Police officers, Federal Corrections Institution and State Police special operations response team members.

Town of Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall, was present at the welcoming of the torch to show his support for area athletes participating in the Special Olympics.

“I wanted to be here to show support for our athletes, we live and thrive on Olympic sports here,” Randall said. “These athletes go above and beyond to show what is possible for people with disabilities and handicaps and they give everyone a lot of hope.”

Randall said the passing of the torch in Lake Placid has inspired him to pursue hosting the Special Olympics at Lake Placid in the future.

“I am hopeful we would be able to put a bid forth one day to host the Special Olympics,” Randall said. “It would be a good use of these resources here as one of the few U.S. Olympic bases.”

For more information about the Special Olympics events go to www.NYSO.org.

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