CHICAGO, June 17, 2015 — CITGO Petroleum Corp. employees, friends and family joined members of the Special Olympics community in Chicago to welcome the Unified Relay Across America at a ceremonial lighting of the cauldron event at Polk Bros Park on Saturday, June 13. CITGO is the official fuel sponsor of the Unified Relay Across America, which brings the Olympic torch along three routes traveling across the country before reaching the 2015 Summer World Games in Los Angeles. The relay is designed to build momentum for the Summer World Games and to celebrate diversity, respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. 

Over the upcoming weeks, participants throughout the country will continue to exchange the torch hand-by-hand, ultimately delivering it to Los Angeles on July 10. As the official fuel sponsor, CITGO is covering fuel costs for 36 support vehicles travelling with the torch on three simultaneous routes, which will touch all 50 states and cover a number of key CITGO market areas.

“CITGO Petroleum is proud to be the official fuel sponsor of the Unified Relay Across America, which celebrates the values of respect, inclusion and fraternity that we share with the Special Olympics,” said Jim Cristman, vice-president of the CITGO Lemont Refinery at the event on Polk Bros Park. 

“We are passionate about supporting these special athletes, which is the reason CITGO has proudly held a long-standing relationship with the local chapters of the Special Olympics in many of the areas where we work and live,” he added.

CITGO is a dedicated supporter of charitable and high-impact organizations like the Special Olympics. Since 2013, CITGO employees have donated nearly 2,000 hours of their personal time to the various benefits and charity events associated with the organization in the United States.

The CITGO Lemont Refinery, located approximately 30 miles outside of downtown Chicago, benefits the surrounding communities, not only as a major supplier of petroleum products, but as a major employer, community leader and taxpayer. CITGO annually contributes more than $350 million to the local economy through salaries, benefits, goods, services and taxes. 

For more information about the CITGO partnership with Special Olympics – and to spread words of encouragement for the 7,000 athletes with disabilities from 177 countries participating in the games – go to  
CITGO is a Houston-based refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This year, CITGO is the official fuel sponsor of the Special Olympics’ Unified Relay Across America. For more information, visit