Leaders Gather to Unveil Flame of Hope for Special Olympics
On July 7, 2010, Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner, Special Olympics Nebraska Executive Director Carolyn Chamberlin and Torch Run representatives gathered together to unveil the Flame of Hope Torch for the Special Olympics 2010 USA National Games. The Olympic flame symbolizes the light of spirit, knowledge and life. With identical power and majesty, the Special Olympics Flame of Hope, in the entrusted care of the law enforcement community, symbolizes the courage and celebration of diversity that the Special Olympics movement represents.
The Flame of Hope will be carried during the 2010 Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, which precedes the Special Olympics USA National Games held in Lincoln, Nebraska. At a basic level, the Torch Run is an event in which officers and athletes run the Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial games and national summer or winter games. This torch run event is called the Final Leg because it is the culmination of torch run events that have occurred throughout the United States. The Final Leg begins Sunday, July 11th at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, the site of the last USA National Games in 2006. The Flame of Hope will enter Nebraska on the evening of July 11th and then travel throughout the state for one week. The Final Leg Team will conduct runs and ceremonies in over 70 cities and towns throughout Nebraska before arriving at the USA National Games Opening Ceremonies in Lincoln on July 18, 2010.
The Torch Run Final Leg is not only a salute to athletes from around the U.S. who will compete in the USA National Games, but also an honor for the participating law enforcement officers who comprise the Torch Run Final Leg Team. The Final Leg Team, 110 members strong, includes law enforcement runners, Special Olympic athletes and support team members. Their mission is to create awareness and excitement, as well as encourage support and attendance of the USA National Games.