Each Unified Relay route was led by a group of co-captains, including media personalities, actors, musicians, athletes and Special Olympics athletes. Co-captains served as spokespeople for the Special Olympics movement and the Unified Relay, encouraged participation through registration, fundraising and spectatorship.
The Unified Relay co-captains were Damian Lillard, Special Olympics Global Ambassador and American professional basketball star; Elena Delle Donne, Special Olympics Global Ambassador and American professional basketball star; Joe Haden, Special Olympics Global Ambassador and American professional football star; Maria Menounos, Special Olympics Global Ambassador and journalist; Aloe Blacc, American singer and songwriter; Josh Turner, American singer and actor; Special Olympics North Carolina athlete Zach Commander, Special Olympics Pennsylvania athlete Johanna Schoeneck and Special Olympics Iowa athlete Corey Leonhard.
“The flame of the torch is inspirational, in a way that few symbols can match. And I’m thrilled to be part of the announcement of what promises to be the greatest and biggest Torch Run in United States history,” said Michelle Kwan, Olympic figure-skating legend and Special Olympics International Board Member, as the Unified Relay got under way. “A run that will not only touch every state in the Union, every corner of this country but also engage and inspire every American.