‘LET ME WIN’: Champions participate in annual Torch Run for 2023 Special Olympics

Published 11:30 am Friday, May 12, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Champions gathered at the Natchez bluff Thursday morning for the annual law enforcement Torch Run to kick off the Mississippi Special Olympics Summer Games this weekend.

Runners include those who qualified during earlier events to participate Friday through Sunday in the summer games held at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi.

Carrying the torch on Thursday was Adams County Sheriff’s Office Major Shane Daugherty alongside K9 Duke, followed by dozens of athletes from Natchez and neighboring communities in Mississippi Special Olympics Area 7.

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“Let me win!” the athletes chanted as they neared the end of their lap from Broadway Street up Franklin Street and down Main Street.

Maggie Burns carried a poster she made of the full motto while she ran, which said, “Let me win. If I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Athlete Laquanda Cooks said she appreciates everyone who is involved in the Special Olympics, specifically Tommie Jones, who coordinated local qualifying games and Thursday’s torch run, with help from the sheriff’s office.

“We enjoy the torch run today and enjoy everybody coming out and helping out with the Special Olympics,” Cooks said. “Now, put me in the paper.”