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Special Olympics this weekend

BRIAN CORNWELL

The Olympics will be in Troy this weekend, and not just any Olympics – the 2009 Alabama Special Olympics.

The athletic events will kick off at 7 p.m. at Movie Gallery Stadium.

Herbert Reeves, a university employee and coach for the state games, said he is excited to have the Special Olympics back in Troy for the first time since 1980.

The state Special Olympics office first contacted Troy in 2007 to bring the event to town.

Reeves said the event will bring more than 1,000 to Pike County this weekend, with 800 athletes and 350 coaches and chaperones.

While main events are expected to take place on campus, some events will be spread throughout the city.

The Troy Police Department will help kick off the event with The Final Leg of the Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Special Olympic athletes and law enforcement offices will run with the torch, which is referred to as “Flame of Hope.”

Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage said the Torch Run will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church on East Three Notch Street.

Runners will continue to the square downtown, before holding a short ceremony at the police department.

After the ceremony, the runners will head to Movie Gallery Stadium and state the games.

Reeves said there are nearly 500 volunteers who have already signed up to help with the games, but they could always use more.

Anyone interested in helping can call Reeves at 670-3202.