Eric Silva just couldn’t contain his excitement as he carried the Special Olympics torch toward the waiting California Highway Patrol officers.
The Special Olympics swimmer announced his arrival with a loud whoop that brought cheers from the CHP runner who would carry the torch on the next leg of its journey to UC Davis this weekend.
Silva was accompanied by a half-dozen Fairfield police runners and fellow Special Olympics athletes Brittnay Palmer and Lauren Palmer.
The team had just run the length of North Texas Street with the torch, accompanied by armored personnel carriers from the Fairfield Police Department and the Solano County Sheriff’s Office.
This was all part of the wind-up to this weekend’s 2011 Northern California Special Olympics, which starts Friday at the UC Davis campus.
“It is going to be fun,” said Brittnay Palmer, who will compete in a host of sports this weekend.
“We are so ready for this,” said Lauren Palmer who, along with her sister and Silva, got to travel part of the route through Fairfield in the personnel carriers.
Law enforcement agencies such as the CHP, and Fairfield and Suisun City police held fundraisers earlier this year for the Special Olympics and consider it an honor to help carry the torch.
“It is a great cause,” said CHP Officer Chris Parker.
Suisun City police started the torch run Wednesday morning by taking their patrol boat to Benicia to collect the torch for Benicia police.
“This shows our support for them,” said Suisun City Police Chief Ed Dadisho.
A dozen runners that included Suisun police, Travis OSI agents and Solano County sheriff’s deputies took the torch on a 4.5-mile jog through town before handing off to Fairfield police at the Solano County Government Center.
The torch will spend Wednesday night in Vacaville before continuing its journey to Friday’s opening ceremonies in Davis