Utica, NY (WIBX) - With 1,850 athletes making their final preparations for this weekend's New York Special Olympic Games, the famed torch is also heading west, to Buffalo.

Mayor Rob Palmieri, Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol and UPD officers were at City Hall today to light the torch, beginning the first leg of the 2012 Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Last year, more than $1 million was raised for New York's Special Olympics athletes.

Kayla McKeon is one of those athletes. She has participated in the games for eleven years in a variety of events.

"I'm looking forward to seeing many different people, making new friends and just have fun, no matter if you win or lose," McKeon said. "It's just what you put in and whatever you take out from it."

Last year, she won several medals at the Special Olympics in Athens, including a medal in bocce.

The event starts Friday night with the torch lighting at the University of Buffalo, with the games held all day Saturday.