The Special Olympics torch, called the Flame of Hope,is nearing the end of its journey of thousands of kilometers.
The torch procession is part of a fundraising effort for the Special Olympics movement by law enforcement agencies.
Saturday’s opening ceremony for the games will be held at the opening site of the 1984 Summer Olympics,the Los Angeles Coliseum, where Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson lit the flame.
Johnson, who has been involved with the Special Olympics since its beginning,said sports competition teaches important lessons.
“I think in the long run, what we learn in sports helps us to be better athletes,but also it can be life lessons taught that are going to help us, in a sense,be the best we can be in other places other than on the field of competition,” Johnson said.
The Special Olympics World Summer Games are held every four years in a different city.The last were held in Athens.The competition features 25 sports, from aquatics to track.
The game was started in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of President John F. Kennedyand the movement has grown in influence.
Organizers have high hopes for the 25 games.Patrick McClenahan said " Los Angeles has incredible facilities.The diversity in Los Angeles is a great asset, and the ability to engage the media and the entertainment community".
Special Olympics athlete Debi Anderson said the athletes have a message :"They will show the world what they can do instead of can’t do."
The games will run through August 2.