EVERETT, Wash. -- Law enforcement members across Washington state running and carrying the Special Olympics torch Flame of Hope ahead of Friday night s opening ceremonies at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Marysville police officers handed off the torch to Everett police early Friday morning, who wan it eight miles to Lynnwood for another handoff. The torch will be passed between more than a dozen different police departments in the Puget Sound area.

They pour their hearts into it. It s a great organization and it so great for their self-esteem and to be involved in teamwork, said Everett Police Capt. Greg Lineberry.

There are three torch runs happening across Western Washington and Eastern Washington. The officers will come together and make a special stop at the Lakewood Police Department for a ceremony, then connect the torches for the final leg to JBLM.

A record 2,700 athletes are competing during this year s summer games.

I m going to go and give my best and have fun, cause winning isn t everything like the old saying goes. It s not how you win or lose, it s the fun that counts, said Marvin Van Buskirk, a Special Olympics powerlifter.

Buskirk is with the team Everett Independents, which is sending 54 athletes.

Opening ceremonies and the athlete parade kick off at 7:30 p.m. at JBLM.

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