New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, who hails from the capital, returned to the bylanes of Chandni Chowk Sunday to carry the 'Flame of Hope', the relay torch for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.
The torch made its way to New Delhi Sunday, where 150 Special Olympics athletes, law enforcement officers and residents joined Kumar as he carried the torch on a two-km run through Chandni Chowk as part of the Global Law Enforcement Torch Run - a signature event honouring the Special Olympics movement.
Kumar is the celebrity supporter and brand ambassador for the event that is being organised prior to the world games set to be held in Boise, Idaho, US, Feb 2-13 next year.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit flagged off the event at the Red Fort.
Craig Grossgart, country manager of DHL Express India, and Air Marshall Denzil Keelor were also present.
The Bollywood actor asserted that he wasn't here to promote his upcoming film 'Chandni Chowk to China'.
'It is just a coincidence that I am here at Chandni Chowk for this event and that the torch will next be taken to Shanghai. I am here to support the event and the athletes,' he told mediapersons.
Athlete Achint Babbar was among the special athletes to share stage-space with the star and was overjoyed when Akshay commended him on having won in the swimming category of the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2008.
His mother said: 'Achint was happy to meet the star that he normally sees on TV. Seeing a star like this in their support, the athletes will feel motivated.'
The Flame of Hope was lit Nov 12 2008 in Athens, Greece, using the rays of the Sun in accordance to Olympic tradition. The flame then left Greece to begin a 60,000-km journey across five continents.
Carried by members of the global law enforcement community and Special Olympics athletes, more than 12,000 people around the world will participate in this pivotal event for the Special Olympics movement delivering hope, inspiration and encouragement to all people with intellectual disabilities.