HERNANDO, Miss.– We are less than a month away from the start of the Special Olympics and the torch for the games made its way through downtown Hernando on Monday.

The 2022 U.S. Special Olympics in Orlando are expected to be the largest in the event’s 54-year history.

Brothers Daniel and Dan Arata were among the athletes running alongside the torch.

“It was very exciting because we haven’t done nothing in the past two years because of the pandemic and this was really good,” Daniel said.

The athletes also ran alongside law enforcement. Lieutenant Mike Cowan with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department said this was a great way for both groups to get to know one another before the competition begins.

“Seeing these guys put the effort forth, it’s a lot of fun, and it is really heartwarming,” Lieutenant Cowan said.

Both Arata Brothers will play Flag Football. They say they have been training and are looking forward to competing — and they appreciate the support.

“They were cheering us on as we was running and make sure that we all was staying hydrated as well,” Daniel said.

“We want them to know that we are here to help and we are on their side,” Cowan said.

The U.S. Special Olympics runs from June 5th through June 12th.