Dozens of athletes from all over Hamilton County converged upon Webster City Middle School Thursday morning for the annual Special Olympics Torch Run and parade. The event is a kickoff for the State Summer Games being held in Ames through Saturday.
The athletes represented Sunset Heights Elementary School, South Hamilton Schools, Webster City Middle School, Webster City High School and Friends Forever Social and Education Club. Nick Olson led the Pledge of Allegiance and Becky Laube led the Olympians in the athlete oath. Athletes from each group also introduced their teammates.
Denny Jackson, retired Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy told the group that this year marked the 24th year for the Torch Run and it also marked the 23rd year that the Hamilton County group had generated the highest dollar amount for T-shirt sales. Local law enforcement officials, conservation officers, fire and rescue personnel and highway patrol officers carried the torch on the run through the county.
Jorge Amador and Tyler Nelson wave to their fellow students lining the Special Olympics Torch Run parade Thursday morning. Also pictured are Kayla Nelson, Sandy Hicok, Karen Anderson, Dan Loughry and Tyler McCoy. The state Special Olympics summer games are under way at Iowa State University.
Athlete Nick Olson carries the torch during the parade Thursday morning. With him are Jody Casey, Jason Gilmore and Deputy Gary Johnson. Several law enforcement officials took part in the torch run.
Athletes from South Hamilton Schools stand for the Pledge of Allegiance during the Torch Run ceremony Thursday morning at the Webster City Middle School. Following the ceremony, the athletes paraded down Des Moines Street and through Webster City to Twin Parks.
The Special Olympics athletes, wearing their Hamilton County torch run T-shirts, gathered at East Twin Park following the parade. The state summer games are going on through Saturday at Iowa State University.