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Cheerleader from Cumming carries Special Olympics torch
torch
Julie Smallwood, a student at Forsyth Central High School and member of The Special Twist, carried the Flame of Hope torch during its journey to Atlanta from Greenville, S.C. - photo by For the FCN

FORSYTH COUNTY — A member of the Forsyth County Special Olympics cheerleading team recently participated in a first-of-its-kind national event.

Julie Smallwood, a student at Forsyth Central High School and member of The Special Twist, carried the Flame of Hope torch during its journey to Atlanta from Greenville, S.C.

The first Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America was a “significant step to creating more inclusive and respectful communities for people with intellectual disabilities,” organizers said.

The torch is en route to the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, Calif. It will light the cauldron at 9 p.m. July 25.

With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the event will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015. It’s also the biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.