Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics blazes through Rowan

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 17, 2023

SALISBURY — Runners from law enforcement across Rowan County joined Special Olympians as they blazed through Salisbury on Tuesday morning with the torch, on their way to meet Davidson County officers to hand off the flame.

Law enforcement runners join Olympians annually as the Guardians of the Flame as the torch travels from county to county across the state. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is, according to the organization’s publicity, the “largest year-round public awareness and grassroots fundraising campaign for Special Olympics.”

On Tuesday, Salisbury Police Captain P.J. Smith carried the torch as the group of runners traveled along Main Street toward Spencer. The Rowan County group met up with Davidson County’s representatives on the Davidson County side of the Yadkin River Park.

The runners carry the Flame of Hope into opening ceremonies of local competitions as well as state, national, regional and World Games. Here in North Carolina, the torch run is traveling across the state from six different points and spanning over 2,000 miles, and the relays will culminate on Friday, June 2, for the Circle of  Honor and lighting of the cauldron at the 2023 Special Olympics NC Summer Games Opening Ceremony in Raleigh.

The LETR for Special Olympics engages law enforcement worldwide, championing acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, starting first with their own communities. In North Carolina alone, nearly 2,000 law enforcement personnel support the NC LETR annually, and over all, every year more than 110,000 law enforcement officials help the torch travel to opening ceremonies.