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North Carolina Officer and Special Olympics Athlete to Carry Flame of Hope at 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle

Osborn and Callaway named to 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg Team

Raleigh, NC – Before competition begins at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle next July, an elite group of individuals will serve as the “Guardians of the Flame” and escort the Special Olympics Flame of Hope on a journey across Washington state. Cumberland County Sheriff Sgt. Jennifer Osborn of Fayetteville and Special Olympics NC athlete Robin Callaway of Charlotte are among those who will make up the prestigious “Final Leg” team for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.

Since the first Special Olympics USA Games in 2006, members of law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes from across the United States have carried the Flame of Hope in the LETR Final Leg to usher the start of the national competition.

From June 27 through July 1, 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  the 2018 USA Games. The 2018 LETR Final Leg culminates on July 1 when the team escorts the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Sgt. Jennifer Osborn began volunteering with Special Olympics through the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office in 2008. In her nine years of involvement, Sgt. Osborn has raised $10,000 singlehandedly. She volunteers at local Special Olympics events, annually participates in the Torch Run Final Leg Relay in June prior to the SONC Summer Games and assists with her agency’s annual motorcycle ride fundraiser. Her dedication to the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run and Special Olympics athletes led to her being selected as a member of the NC LETR Council in 2017.

Robin Callaway became involved in Special Olympics in 1999. Since then, she has trained and competed in basketball, bowling, bocce, softball and tennis. In addition to being a highly decorated athlete, she enjoys running and is a leader in the Special Olympics movement, serving as a Global Messenger, or a public spokesperson for the organization, and as an Athlete Ambassador for the North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run Council. In addition to her Special Olympics activities, Robin works two jobs and enjoys volunteering at the Special Olympics Mecklenburg County office. She received statewide recognition in 2015 when she was named the 2015 Special Olympics North Carolina Athlete of the Year. 

“Sgt. Osborn and Robin are two integral members of the North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run’s leadership.  This is a well-deserved honor for both and they will represent their communities and the state well in Seattle,” said Keith L. Fishburne, President/CEO, Special Olympics North Carolina.

Besides Osborn and Callaway’s role in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, SONC will have a delegation competing, Team North Carolina is made up of 62 athletes supported by 19 coaches competing in athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, Unified flag football, golf, gymnastics, powerlifting, swimming, tennis and volleyball.  Additional North Carolinians will attend as officials and technical delegates.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the Special Olympics movement’s largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle in the world. In 2016, law enforcement volunteers raised $56.6 million for Special Olympics programs around the world and eclipsed $675 million since the inception of the LETR in 1981.

For more information on the LETR Final Leg team, please visit http://www.letr-finalleg.org/. The schedule of events and ceremonies for the 2018 USA Games LETR Final Leg will be announced in Spring 2018. 

Photos from the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run will be available on the LETR Final Leg website.

About the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington 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 Special Olympics USA Games, please visit www.SpecialOlympicsUSAGames.org.

About Special Olympics North Carolina

Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for nearly 40,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide.  SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels as well as health and wellness initiatives to improve the health status and increase access to community health resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Youth become agents of change through Unified Champion Schools, an education and sports based program created by Special Olympics to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well as empower them to become youth leaders and create change in their community. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on http://twitter.com/sonc_beafanhttp://www.instagram.com/specialolympics_nchttp://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNC and http://www.youtube.com/BeAFanSONC.      

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