Athletes and law enforcement team up for Torch Run in support of Special Olympics

(ABC 6 News) – Athletes, law enforcement and first responders teamed up for the final stretch of the Special Olympics "Torch Run" in Southeastern Minnesota.

Law enforcement agencies have been participating in the Torch Run for the Special Olympics since 1981. The international program has raised over six million dollars to support various Special Olympic programs.

The Torch Run in Southeastern Minn. started at 7 a.m. in Hastings and continued 92 miles south to Rochester. Participants biked the entire way.

Kayte Barton, who has been a Special Olympic athlete for the last 25 years, designed the artwork on the back of the shirt for the run this year.

Area law enforcement carried the "Flame of Hope" throughout the run. It stands as a symbol of courage and celebration of diversity and inclusion for everyone. These officers are named the "Guardians of the Flame".

Olmsted County Sheriff, Kevin Torgerson, has been participating in the run for the past 30 years.

"If anybody ever gets an opportunity to help and support the Special Olympics, whether it’s by donations and supporting them with all of the events that we do to support the Special Olympics. We’d love people to be a part of that. All of what we can do to help and support the athletes is what this is all about," Torgerson said.

Other Torch Runs took place across Minn. today. The "Final Leg" will take place on Saturday, in Stillwater at the Summer Games Opening Ceremonies. The general public as well as athletes are welcome to cheer and participate in the run.

Other fundraisers to raise money for the Special Olympics include a Polar Plunge and a two-day truck convoy. The next fundraiser, the Plane Pull, will take place in Sept.