Lansing, Mich – The first-ever Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America presented by Bank of America will make its way through the Lansing area on Tuesday, June 9. Lt. Governor Brian Calley, local residents, law enforcement and Special Olympics supporters will help to carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope, as the torch makes this historic journey across America, on its way to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, CA, on July 25th. The Unified Relay will unite the country, increase understanding and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities, and create communities of acceptance and inclusion along the way.
Join us for a free community celebration for all ages on Tuesday, June 9 from 5:00-7:00 pm at the State Capitol grounds (124 W Allegan St.) as we welcome to the Flame of Hope to Lansing! Live entertainment begins at 5:00 pm. The Flame of Hope arrives at 5:30 pm with live entertainment continuing again at 6:00 pm. This will be the only opportunity area residents not participating in the Relay itself will have to see the Special Olympics Flame of Hope as the torch makes this historic journey across America, on its way to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, CA, this summer. This community celebration event is a fun way for everyone to support Special Olympics and unify the community.
Prior to arriving in Lansing, the Flame of Hope will be carried relay-style through downtown Detroit on Tuesday morning, then driven to Ann Arbor where the relay will continue. The Flame of Hope will arrive in East Lansing at approximately 2:00 pm where, for the next three and a half hours, it will make its way through the campus of Michigan State University, past the Michigan Historical Museum, and finally to the Capitol Building.
Following Tuesday’s community celebration, the Unified Relay Across America will resume on Wednesday, June 10, at 7:00 am at Lansing’s Grand River Park (N Cedar St between Saginaw and Shiawassee). The relay will continue in Lansing until approximately 9:45 am where the Michigan leg will end on S Martin Luther King Blvd with the Flame of Hope then being driven to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
On May 14, 2015, the Flame of Hope was lit by the rays of the sun during a ceremony conducted by High Priestesses with intellectual disabilities in Athens, Greece. The torch was then passed to the Guardians of the Flame, Law Enforcement officers from throughout the world who represent the Law Enforcement Torch Run. After the official lighting, the flame began its official journey to the Special Olympics World Games and arrived in Washington, D.C., where the relay then split into three simultaneous routes starting in Augusta, Maine; Miami, Florida; and Washington, D.C