Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

2012 Torch Run ignites pride, inspiration

28 June 2012

After running through the streets of Surrey alongside local RCMP members in the 2012 Torch Run, SOBC – Surrey athlete Kayley was filled with a sense of pride.

“Had a blast running in the Law Enforcement Torch Run,” she wrote on Twitter. “So proud to have the support being a Special Olympics athlete.”

The great run in Surrey was one of the amazing events in 29 communities around B.C. that were part of the Torch Run this year. A grand total of 766 members of departments and detachments around the province came together in rain, shine and even a bit of hail to show their strong support for Special Olympics athletes on and around June 8, inspiring everyone who saw them run proudly past and raising significant awareness for the Special Olympics movement.

Photo gallery

The runners were also joined this year by great contingents of students in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Cranbrook, Nanaimo and Richmond, playing an important part in expanding awareness of Special Olympics and the significant community contributions of B.C. law enforcement personnel.

The generosity and dedication of law enforcement members was evident in so many inspiring moments. Cst. Jenn Ohashi of the Port Moody Police Department worked all night before the Lower Mainland Torch Run hit Port Moody and Coquitlam, but she was still right there ready to lead the way and carry the torch when the run began in the pouring rain on the morning of June 7.

In White Rock, RCMP Cst. Gregg Holland raised extra funds for Special Olympics BC by pledging to run in his full uniform (minus boots), adding an extra 40 pounds to the experience. He brought in $360 all on his own for his pains.

In Port Alberni, RCMP members and SOBC – Port Alberni athletes epitomized the spirit of inclusion as they played an LETR softball game – both teams took pleasure in tricking each other with grapefruits to pitch and water pistols to squirt at surprised baserunners!

In Vancouver, the addition of the Granville Kilometre brought teams of corporate runners out to join the Vancouver Police Department members and the dedicated law enforcement personnel doing all or many parts of the Lower Mainland Torch Run. The runners were an inspiring sight as they bore the torch for Special Olympics through the heart of downtown Vancouver, and they were cheered along the way by athletes and volunteers from SOBC – Vancouver.

As VPD Superintendent Andy Hobbs said, “One only has to spend some time with the athletes, their trainers, assistants, and supporters to see that they are some of the most committed, passionate, and dedicated people. We are extremely proud to contribute to such a worthwhile cause.”

In Richmond, RCMP Cpl. Bill Lumsdon told the large group of runners from the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency that it was his pleasure to be taking part in the run with them while he was nine days away from retirement.

SOBC – Mission athlete Bryce Schaufelberger came out to join the run on his birthday. He said the rain didn’t dampen the fun of the Torch Run in the slightest. “Way to go, thanks police for supporting Special Olympics,” he added.

The 2012 Torch Run wrapped up with the great run by Burns Lake RCMP on June 22, bearing the flame with pride.

The 2013 Torch Run will be held on June 7. We can’t wait to see the law enforcement personnel in action once again!

Erin Gray of the Delta PD was one of the dedicated runners who participated in the entire Lower Mainland Torch Run.

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