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Special Olympics Torch Run Passes Through Sacramento

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, June 22, 2012

The fundraising event leads into the opening of the Summer Games.  They began Friday night.

More than 100 officers wearing white shirts, shorts and running shoes turn off eighth street headed for the Capitol.  Michelle James is with the California Highway Patrol.  Every step she runs is sponsored by someone.

JAMES: "It supports a great organization, supports people who apply themselves, and it's a great run."

Sponsorships and entry fees for the Torch Run raise $34 million a year worldwide for the Special Olympics.   CHP officer Adrian Quintero says he relishes the chance to help the intellectually disabled thrive thru competition.

QUINTERO: "In law enforcement, we deal with so much tragedy and so much death and destruction, this is one of those events we look forward to doing every day."

When the runners reach the Capitol, they're greeted by Karissa Krater.  She's 19 and a swimmer who loves everything about the Special Olympics

KRATER: "It's fun. You build relationships with people -get to know them and my officers."

Officer Quintero says he was surprised by how much the event touched him.

QUINTERO:  "You don't think you're going to get so emotional about the entire event, but when you start hanging medals on the athletes and they're just so happy to see you there giving you high-fives and just having a moment to talk to you, it's great."

Karissa Krater hopes her team will get one of those medals. 

KRATER: "The team's looking good this year, so I think we have a shot at winning."."

She will swim in the freestyle, breast, and back stroke.  

After the games, the athletes will continue training, and the officers will start a new year of fundraising. 
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