a torch with the flame

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) is to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics movement.

History

LETR began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas, Police Chief Richard LaMunyon created the Torch Run. He thought the Torch Run would help law enforcement be active in the community and support Special Olympics Kansas. In 1983, Chief LaMunyon presented the program to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). They decided to endorse Torch Run and became the “Founding Law Enforcement Organization.” With the IACP’s support, LETR became the movement's largest public awareness and fundraising group for Special Olympics.
four men in their torch run shrit running with the torch
The Final Leg team carries the torch throughout California en route to the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
four polics men on motorcycles and a group running with the torch
Law enforcement officers have been raising awareness and funds for Special Olympics for over 35 years.

Impact

Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of local competitions. They also carry it into Special Olympics State, Provincial, National, Regional and World Games. There are over 97,000 law enforcement members that carry the “Flame of Hope” annually. The flame symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe.  

Torch Run has grown over the years and now includes many fundraising platforms. These platforms include: Plane Pulls, Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cops, and more. Since the beginning, LETR has raised over $600 million for Special Olympics programs. 

As retired Chief Richard LaMunyon once said, “What started in 1981…as a flicker of hope for Special Olympics has now become a roaring flame of stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.” LETR is changing the future for people with intellectual disabilities. Through the LETR and Special Olympics partnership we are lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion. 

Torch Run Events

  • Feb 01 - Feb 28
    South Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunges
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    Thu Feb 1 - Wed Feb 28, 2018
     
    location
    Statewide
    South Carolina
    USA

    South Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunges

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    Thu Feb 1 - Wed Feb 28, 2018
     

    Multiple Polar Plunge fundraising event take place across the state, mostly during the month of March. Many Unified Champion Schools get involved with the events as a way to raise money and awareness for both Special Olympics South Carolina on a state level as well as their individual school’s Special Olympics program. Youth and other supporters take the plunge into frigid bodies of water on behalf of Special Olympics.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Statewide
    Statewide
    Statewide, South Carolina
    USA
  • Jul 17 - Jul 22
    Special Olympics 50th Anniversary
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    Tue Jul 17 - Sun Jul 22, 2018
     
    location
    3 venues
    USA

    Special Olympics 50th Anniversary

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    Tue Jul 17 - Sun Jul 22, 2018
     

    The spark that became today's Special Olympics movement ignited at the first 1968 International Summer Games in Chicago, Ill., USA. Five decades later, we are returning to Chicago to launch the year-long Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebrations. Here's what we have planned so far: From 17 to 21 July, the inaugural Special Olympics Unified Football Cup competition will team people with and without intellectual disabilities from all over the world. A total of 24 teams -- from every region of the world -- will take part. These include 16 men's teams and eight women's teams. On 20 July, The Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Law Enforcement Torch Run Commemorative Run will include Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement officers from Illinois and elsewhere. On 22 July, in Chicago and around the world, a day for everyone to celebrate the history of Special Olympics and its bright future. Athletes from the first 1968 Games will be joined by today's athletes to tell their stories of empowerment. Members of the public, Special Olympics families and others come together on the playing field for Unified Sports experiences. Change the Game Day will be a global festival of togetherness and sharing for all. Join us as we play together, learn from each other, and chart an inspiring course for the future!


    Venue(s)
    location
    Unified Football Cup
    Toyota Park
    7000 Harlem Ave
    Bridgeview, Illinois
    USA
    From 17 to 21 July, the Special Olympics Unified Football Cup competition will team people with and without intellectual disabilities from all over the world.
    location
    50th Anniversary Torch Run
    Throughout the City
    Route to be announced
    Chicago, Illinois
    USA
    On 20 July, Commemorative Run will include Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement officers from Illinois and elsewhere.
    Show all Venues
  • Mar 14 - Mar 21
    2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games
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    Thu Mar 14 - Thu Mar 21, 2019
     
    location
    Zayed Sports City
    Abu Dhabi
    United Arab Emirates

    2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games

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    Thu Mar 14 - Thu Mar 21, 2019
     

    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will be the host of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The Games will be held 14 to 21 March in 2019. The Games will span seven days of competition. About 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries are invited to attend. The Games will feature competition in 24 sports.


    Venue(s)
    location
    Opening Ceremony

    Zayed Sports City Stadium
    Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi
    United Arab Emirates
    Zayed Sports City Stadium, is an iconic multi-purpose stadium located in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is the largest stadium in the UAE with more than 43,000 seats.
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