Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 3:34 p.m.
Law enforcement personnel from the Spokane Police Department will be joining law enforcement officers from across the nation to escort the “Flame of Hope” torch to the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg® (LETR.)
Before competition begins on July 2, an elite group of law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes will escort the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” on a journey across Washington State. From June 27 through July 1, 47 law enforcement officers representing 47 states, along with six Special Olympics athletes, will make up the prestigious “Final Leg” team for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run®.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is Special Olympics' largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle in the world. More than 100,000 law enforcement members in all 50 U.S. States, 12 Canadian provinces/territories, and 47 other countries contribute to LETR efforts annually as Guardians of the Flame®, ensuring the delivery of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial Games, and national/regional Games.
"For more than 30 years, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has been an integral part of the Special Olympics Movement and we are thrilled to be the host state, and have our local law enforcement partners welcome the Final Leg Torch Runners to our beautiful state," said Dave Lenox, Special Olympics Washington President and CEO. "We look forward to seeing Washingtonians cheer on the Final Leg Team as they bring the USA Games message of acceptance and inclusion throughout the state."
The LETR Final Leg team will conduct multiple runs and ceremonies in cities, towns and communities across Washington State to raise awareness for Special Olympics and generate excitement for the 2018 USA Games. The 2018 Final Leg culminates on July 1 when the LETR team escorts the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington in Seattle.
The “Flame of Hope” will make its way to the City of Spokane’s Riverfront Park on Wednesday, June 27. Guest speakers will include: Mayor David A. Condon, Assistant Police Chief Justin Lundgren, Special Olympics Athlete Ernie Roundtree, Law Enforcement Officer Gus Proctor and Good Morning Northwest Anchor Derek Deis.
WHO: Law enforcement officers from 47 states and local law enforcement from the region run the “Flame of Hope” across Washington to the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.
WHAT: An elite group of Final Leg Torch Runners from throughout the United States will run and carry the Torch across the state of Washington containing the “Flame of Hope” in celebration of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. The Law Enforcement Torch Run Campaign (LETR) is an international campaign that raise funds and public awareness for Special Olympics programs.
WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday, June 27 at 9:30 a.m. at Spokane’s Riverfront
About Law Enforcement Torch Run
The Law Enforcement Torch Run ® (LETR) is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics. Known honorably as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement
members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into the Opening Ceremony of local competitions, and into Special Olympics State, Provincial, National, Regional and World Games.
Annually, more than 97,000 dedicated and compassionate law enforcement members carry the“Flame of Hope,” symbolizing courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe. Since inception, LETR has raised more than half a billion dollars and changed millions of attitudes.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become included and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.7 million athletes and Unified partners in 172 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year.
About the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington from July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 participants representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2018 USA Games will also highlight Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building.
For more information on the 2018 Final Leg and 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, please visit: www.letr-finalleg.org/ or www.SpecialOlympicsUSAGames.org and follow on Facebook (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames), Twitter (@2018USAGames) and Instagram (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames).
Officer John O'Brien