Local leaders kick off Special Olympics Torch Run

An eternal flame traveled across Chicago Tuesday as police officers are carried the torch for the Special Olympics Summer Games.

The law enforcement torch run for Special Olympics Illinois took off from the corner outside the Cook County Jail, marking 55 years of partnership between law enforcement and a good cause. 

Cook County corrections officers and sheriff's deputy recruits followed HBT teams for a jog down city streets escorting the flaming torch on leg five of its journey through the state. For four days, it will be carried 150 miles to the summer games taking place in Normal, Illinois. It's one of the biggest fundraisers for Special Olympics Illinois, fostering teamwork and sportsmanship among all who participate. 


Law enforcement was there at the beginning of Special Olympics in Chicago, and so was the founder, retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke. 

"Just having self-confidence is the big point, because if you have self-confidence, you can do almost anything and they're very happy to have someone care about them because that wasn't always the case in the world," Burke said.

The torch gets a police escort through Cook County, ending in Palos Heights, a 20.8-mile journey to benefit special athletes.