The Flame of Hope has been lit for the Special Olympics Summer Games, making a 1,500 mile journey across the state of Illinois.
Local law enforcement torch runners took off Tuesday from Transitions of Western Illinois in Quincy, going 22 miles and handing it off at the Hancock County line.
The torch will end up in Bloomington Friday, along with several others from across the state just in time for the Opening Ceremony.
"When we go out to do a 5K or some competition, we can go out anytime we want to and do anything we want to," said Richard Avoletta, Senior Master Trooper with the Illinois State Police. "But these athletes have some restrictions as far as they need someone to take them to there, they have to have some help. So that's where the Special Olympics comes in, we want to help them so they can achieve their dreams and get involved just like you and I would want to be involved."
Transitions also hosted a luncheon to recognize many of the local athletes who are competing this year. The Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games run Friday through Sunday in the Bloomington-Normal area.