Colonel Knight carries the Flame of Hope as
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee waves to the crowd.
The 33rd Annual State Summer Games kicked off as Colonel Chris Knight carried the Special Olympics torch into the University of South Florida stadium. Colonel Knight, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, and Tampa Police Department Chief Steve Hogue lead fellow runners to completed the final leg of the annual statewide torch run, showing Florida law enforcement’s support for the Special Olympic Summer games held in Tampa for the 4th time. This year's event was one of the largest ever, with over 1,400 athletes participating in a number of sport events.
The Torch Run is the largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for the Special Olympics organizers, raising more than $20.5 million for Special Olympics Programs around the world. More than 85,000 law enforcement officers carried the Flame of Hope across 35 nations, and thousands more supported the runners' efforts through Adopt-A-Cop runner sponsorships, corporate sponsorships and Torch Run t-shirts (more than 400,000 sold) and other merchandise sales.
The Florida Highway Patrol is honored to take part annually in this worthy cause and salutes the efforts of the special athletes!