A Journey of Hope arrives for special Lynchburg athletes

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Ben Hook from The Journey of Hope TransAmerican team fist bumps Brian Wilson with the Challenged Sports Exchange on Tuesday at Lynchburg College Jill Nance – The News & Advance

“Oh, man,” Harvey, 33, said, pumping his hands in the air and grinning. It was exactly the kind of smile Toni Minor, one of the board members of the Challenged Sports Exchange hoped to see Tuesday as she watched almost a dozen CSE athletes dance and play games with Journey of Hope cyclists who returned to Virginia on their annual cross-country trek this week.

Journey of Hope, a team of 28 cyclists from 18 universities, rode about 50 miles to Lynchburg on Tuesday morning. They arrived at Lynchburg College before noon and were greeted by the athletes of the Challenged Sports Exchange. The fraternity started its ride in Seattle in May and will end its trip Saturday in Washington, D.C. Riders make the 75-mile trek to Charlottesville tomorrow.

After lunch, cyclists and athletes packed into LC’s Wake Field House where volleyball games bled into basketball and soccer players found themselves stopping mid-game to boogie to music blasting from the radio. “I think they impact us more than we impact them,” said Pi Kappa Phi member and Journey of Hope cyclist Francis Ahrens, 22. “They are always happy, they’re always energized and that really helps us out after a day” of cycling.

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