Sangamon County Central Dispatch Director escorting torch for 2018 Special Olympics
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
Director of the Sangamon County Central Dispatch System, Chris Mueller, will be one of 50 in the nation to help escort the Special Olympics Flame of Hope across Washington State.
Known as Guardians of the Flame, Law Enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the Flame of Hope into opening ceremonies of local competitions.
"I was at a meeting and the nominations came up and I got an email and it said congratulations you've been selected," said Mueller.
Since then he said he's been preparing. He said he could be running up to 14 hours a day, so we asked him how he's getting ready for the big event.
"Good question *laughs* I really need to study that because running is one thing but trying to get prepared for something like this and the elevations and some of the thin air so I think running and just feet to the ground right now," Mueller said.
The torch run was started in 1981 by a police chief to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics movement. Mueller has been involved with the Special Olympics for two decades which he said is a very humbling experience and believes it's helping a good cause.
"Special Olympians are incredible people and they deserve the chance to do the same things most of us take for granted, like playing sports and have their family cheer them on. Through Special Olympics it gives athletes the opportunity, the parents the opportunity to cheer their kids on like I said that most of us took for granted," Mueller said.
However, it's not just all work and no play. He's really looking forward to one thing.
"I think the scenery just running up and down and seeing athletes, I've never been to the pacific north-west so it's going to be an eye-opener out there," Mueller said.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run will start on June 26 and will continue through July 1, 2018.