Law enforcement officers throughout North Carolina will carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope across the state May 8-26. Traveling across the state from five different points and spanning over 2,000 miles, the 2021 Carry the Flame Torch Run will culminate in the Final Leg and lighting of the cauldron on the steps of the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh on May 27.
As the largest awareness campaign for the North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run ® for Special Olympics (NC LETR), law enforcement members, known as Guardians of the Flame, are part of the worldwide movement, championing acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, starting first with their own communities.
Kickoff events, listed below, will be hosted in Union, Haywood, Watauga, Carteret and Pender counties beginning on May 8. The public is invited to attend to cheer for the runners during the NC Torch Run Relay legs in their communities. Leg 3, beginning in Boone, North Carolina will be commemorating Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, who lost their lives in the line of duty on April 28, with a special-designed “End of Watch” torch.
May 8 at 7:30 a.m. – Pender Correctional Institution
May 10 at 8 a.m. – Morehead City Police Department
May 10 at 10 a.m. – Boone Police Department
May 10 at 10 a.m. – Haywood County Sheriff’s Department
May 11 at 9 a.m. – Union County Sheriff’s Office
A complete list of Torch Run legs, contacts and schedules surrounding each of the five legs can be found online. Please note, schedules for each leg are differentiated by their respective spreadsheet tab.
Leg 1: Union County to Wake County
Leg 2: Haywood County to Wake County
Leg 3: Watauga County to Wake County
Leg 4: Carteret County to Wake County
Leg 5: Pender County to Wake County
All legs of the 2021 Carry the Flame Torch Run will converge on Raleigh, May 27, with the Final Leg Run of the relay taking place at PNC Arena at 10 a.m. Officers will run the Flame of Hope from PNC Arena to the North Carolina State Capitol in downtown Raleigh. Officers will form a Circle of Honor and then light the cauldron at 12 p.m.
About the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an international fundraising campaign for Special Olympics. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition for more than 5.4 million children and adults around the world who have intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics in North Carolina, making it one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the world.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is officially endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriff’s Association, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the National Association of School Resource Officers, NC Association of School Resource Officers, NC Department of Justice and the NC Department of Public Safety.
About Special Olympics North Carolina
Since 1968, the organization has used the transformative power of sports to improve the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes in North Carolina inspire thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers year-round training and competition in 20 Olympic-type 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 Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.