Law Enforcement Torch Run’ honors Special Olympics athletes

ST. GEORGE — Special Olympics athletes joined law enforcement officers from the St. George Police Department Saturday to participate in the “Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Utah.”

The torch run is part of a series of runs that take place throughout Utah during the month of May in various municipalities. Law enforcement agencies, known to as the “Guardians of the Flame of Hope.” carry the torch, or “Flame of Hope” to honor the Special Olympics athletes.

Special Olympics athletes, St. George Police Department officers and family and supporters carry the “Flame of Hope” past a row of hot rods and classic cars into the Thunder Junction All Abilities Park, St. George, Utah, May 27, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Saturday’s run was the last torch run before the final leg which will carry the torch into the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Utah which will be held in Provo June 2.

Special Olympics Utah is a chapter of Special Olympics International. The organization provides year-round training and competition in Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Law Enforcement Torch Runs are held across the nation as well.

The St. George Police Department has participated in the torch run for several years, said Public Information Officer Lona Trombley, but this year was extra special because they were able to finish the run at the Thunder Junction All Abilities Park.

“We were able to run to the All Abilities Park which is basically for our athletes and for everyone in our community whether you have a disability or not,” Trombley said.

For Trombley, being involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run is something that means a lot to her personally, she said. Trombley has two sisters with disabilities and she said she feels like this is a way she can pay tribute to them.

St. George Police Department officers, Special Olympics athletes and their families and supporters carried the torch along the biking path just north of Tonaquint Park — where the All Abilities Park is located — through a portion of the Tonaquint Cemetery and into Thunder Junction.

As they entered the All Abilities Park, the group was greeted by the Desert Rodders who brought their hot rods and classic cars for the runners to view as they went by. Members of the St. George Fire Department were also present to cheer on the group of runners carrying the torch.

Special Olympic athlete Ray Bundy Jr. carried the torch on the final approach and said it made him feel like a king.

“It was great,” Bundy said.

After the run, participants were treated to a free ride on the Thunder Junction All Abilities Park train.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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