Scott Mahoney was calm and conversational Thursday afternoon as he and his mother Susan Hunt, clad in vermillion tees, waited alongside at least a hundred people waiting for the arrival of the Special Olympics torch.
He talked about his recent trip to Florida and how his mother had fallen and broken her wrist, joking she "ruined" the vacation; and talked about his visit that morning to his grandmother, "nana," at Apple Rehab.
You'd never guess this fellow had a most important task to perform within moments — one he'd done nine times before — taking the flame from the law enforcement officers running the second leg of the three-day Special Olympics Connecticut Torch Run.
To the shouts and applause of many gathered, Scott put on a stoic face that matched the gravity of his task and ran the short distance from the front of the Russell Library to the Middlesex Mutual courtyard.
"He's not a runner," aunt Maureen Hunt said. "He's a walker."
Mayor Dan Drew, state Rep. Christie Carpino, R-32nd, NBC Connecticut sportcaster Kevin Nathan and the Northern Renegade band all congratulated Scott and the law enforcement athletes, who enjoyed a huge cheeseburger and pasta salad lunch before setting off again on the run toward the Portland Bridge into Portland.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
The torch, a well-known symbol of athleticism, strength, endurance and perseverance, was on its Middletown leg of a 530-mile run through more than 100 cities and towns. More than 1,500 law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes participated in the event, which culminates Friday in New Haven.
The final leg will end at the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Special Olympics Summer Games at the Southern Connecticut State University.