TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Some of them ran, others rode bicycles, but they all had the same goal: promote the Special Olympics and encourage the athletes.

Around 40 people showed up a little before 10 a.m. Friday at the parking lot of Idaho Joe’s Restaurant for the state’s Special Olympics Torch Run. Their destination: the Twin Falls Visitor Center.

This is the second time Twin Falls is hosting Special Olympics Idaho, but it won't be the last. The city will play host for the games again next year.

I encourage everyone to come out and support the athletes," says Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury, "not only from Twin Falls but from across the state.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m. today at Canyon Ridge High School. The games go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the school – except for aquatic events that will be held at the City Pool – followed by closing ceremonies and a celebratory dance.

The number of people who showed up Friday morning was a positive statement for the athletes, said Special Olympics organizer Shannon Reece.

She said the Torch Run is important because it involves family and friends of the athletes, who encourage the participants in preparation for the games. It also serves as a fundraising and promotional event to let the community know the games are happening and allows the athletes to be more visible in the community.

The Flame of Hope was carried by Twin Falls Police officers, but Eagle and Nampa police departments also were represented at the run.

“It’s a great event that connects us with the Special Olympics,” said Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury.

Kingsbury said it’s an honor for the city to host to the games and he looks forward not only to Friday evening and Saturday events, but having the games return to the community next year.

As for this year's events, he said: “I encourage everyone to come out and support the athletes not only from Twin Falls but from across the state."

More From News Radio 1310 KLIX