TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida honors thousands of Special Olympics athletes preparing to participate in the games next month.
The athletes carried the "Flame of Hope" to the state Capitol Tuesday during the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater teamed up with federal, state and local officers to pay tribute to the special Olympians.
The officers will carry the torch on a 1,500 mile route across the state and end up at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista for the games on May 18.
Bondi praised the athletes for joining the competition.
"I extend a very special thank to all of our great athletes who are here representing Special Olympics throughout the state of Florida. We offer over 260 competition opportunities statewide for our athletes. The first flag football unified sports competition will be held in December and Special Olympics Florida will have initiated two other new sports opportunities: stand-up paddling and surfing."
More than 15,000 athletes are expected to participate in the Special Olympics next month.
First Coast News