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'Flame of Hope' Lit, Special Olympics Spirit in Full Bloom

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ATHENS, GREECE — The flame that will burn next month at the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games was lit Thursday with the help of the hot, Athenian sun.

The torch lighting ceremony took place in Athens across from theAcropolis.

The "Flame of Hope" will arrive in Wilmington from Greece to kick off the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

On June 20, the torch run will begin from the Battleship North Carolina and continue across the state to fuel excitement about the games.

You can cheer on the law enforcement officers and athletes as they carry the torch through more than 100 cities and towns across the state June 21-25. Opening ceremonies are set for June 26 at Raleigh's Carter-Finley Stadium.

Support for the Special Olympics World Summer Games is "growing" in more ways than one.

If you drive along the Durham Freeway, you may notice a World Games logo made entirely of flowers -- 10,230 to be exact.

Department of Transportationworkers planted the petunias and marigolds earlier this week. They are working on two more logos in the Durham area.

Nearly 7,000 athletes from more than 150 countries will take part in the Games next month at locations across the Triangle.

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Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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