‘Flame of Hope’ carried through Canandaigua

It didn’t take any arm twisting to convince Canandaigua police officer Matt Nielsen to hit the ground running.

Nielsen, who grew up in Canandaigua and joined the police force in his hometown about a year and a half ago, said he usually trains everyday.

So when the opportunity arose to run and help the athletes who take part in the Special Olympics, all the better.

“It’s a good event,” said Nielsen, who joined up with fellow officers and State Police Maj. Rick Allen in taking part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run on Wednesday morning.

“It’s a little farther than I usually run,” Nielsen said, “but I think I’m ready for it.”

And he and the others were up to the challenge.

The officers started out from Pudgies Pizza on North Main Street and continued onto Lowe’s Home Improvement Store on Routes 5 and 20.

They carried the Special Olympics torch, which is known as the “Flame of Hope,” before handing it off to awaiting law enforcement participants, including those from the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office. The 30-mile run, done in legs such as this, was to wind up in Seneca County.

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