AUSTIN (KXAN) — Law enforcement officers from all over Central Texas, including Austin police officers, ran alongside Special Olympics athletes to the Texas Capitol Tuesday morning for their annual Special Olympics Texas Torch Run.
Police officers and Special Olympics athletes gathered in the parking lot of the Austin American-Statesman at 9 a.m., where they started the 1.2 mile-journey to the south steps of the Texas Capitol.
The Special Olympics Texas Torch Run began in 1985 in Texas and has raised over $11 million in the last decade for programs in local communities, which involve over 44,000 athletes throughout the state.
“Really just being out here to show support for these incredible young men and women that participate in the program — that’s what we love to do,” Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said. “It’s inspirational to us, and I think it’s inspirational for the community.”
Chacon has a daughter with special needs who is a Special Olympics athlete who hasn’t been able to compete for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic but is glad competitions are starting up again.
“The Special Olympics credo, ‘Please let me win, but if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt,’ is just something that should be inspirational to people,” Chacon said.