The Flame of Hope, the official torch of the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, will be carried through the City of Santa Clarita on Friday, July 17. A special ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. at Westfield Valencia Town Center (between Sisley Italian Kitchen and TGI Fridays), located at 24201 Valencia Boulevard.
The City will welcome the law enforcement officers who serve as the Guardians of the Flame of Hope and the Special Olympic athletes as they participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg. Law enforcement officers and Special Olympic athletes are selected by their respective Special Olympics programs to be one the of the 126 Final Leg Team members based on their dedication and commitment to the Special Olympics movement.
Community members are encouraged to join the celebration alongside law enforcement to express support for the athletes. Throughout the journey of the Final Leg, law enforcement officers from around the world will be spreading the message of acceptance and inclusion for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
The Flame of Hope will complete its journey on July 25 when the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg team carries it into the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 World Games and ignites the cauldron at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Santa Clarita will also act as a Special Olympics World Games “Host Town” from July 21-24, 2015 by welcoming athletes into the community and providing them with relaxing, fun-filled and culturally immersive experiences throughout their stay.
For more information about the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit LA2015.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information about the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, visit LETR-FinalLeg.org and on Facebook and Twitter.
Meanwhile in Palmdale…
[LASD Palmdale Station] – The Special Olympics World Games are coming to Los Angeles and the Olympic torch, called the Flame of Hope, will be in Palmdale on Friday, July 17th, between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Palmdale residents can expect road delays in the area of Summerwind Dr. / 15th Street West, between Avenue P-8 and Rancho Vista Blvd. Additionally, they can expect delays on the roadways and parking lots on the south side of the Antelope Valley Mall.
The Flame of Hope will arrive at Summerwind Elementary School, located at 39360 Summerwind Dr., at 2:30 pm. An Olympic runner and an international police officer will travel north on Summerwind Dr. (15th Street West) to Rancho Vista Blvd. The runners will turn east on Rancho Vista and then turn into the mall between 24 Hour Fitness and Chase Bank. They will continue north through the mall parking lot and turn east, passing Dick’s Sporting Goods, on their way to the mall’s main entrance. The runners will be escorted by the California Highway Patrol with the Sheriff’s Department assisting with traffic control.
Once at the mall, a ceremony with dignitaries will be held at 3:00 pm, to raise awareness for the Special Olympics. The ceremony will be officiated by Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, and will feature musical entertainment courtesy of The Fulcos. The Olympic runner and international police officer will explain the significance of the Flame of Hope and the World Games. The ceremony is expected to last approximately 30 minutes.
The public is encouraged to attend this free event and show their support for the Special Olympics and the 2015 World Games. The Flame of Hope began its journey in Athens, Greece, when it was lit on May 14th. The Flame of Hope was transported to Washington DC, where on May 26th, it was used to light two other flames. The three Flame of Hope torches completed touring all 50 states on July 10th, in a relay called the Unified Relay Across America.
On Monday, July 13, at 10:00 am, the Flame of Hope will be handed over to the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Final Leg Team in Sacramento. Governor Gerry Brown will be the keynote speaker at this event, which will be held on the front steps of the State Capitol. The Flame of Hope will travel for 13 days, to more than 120 cities and towns throughout California, including Palmdale, honoring the spirit of the Special Olympics global movement and delivering a message of hope to communities where people with intellectual disabilities continue to fight for acceptance and inclusion.
The Final Leg will conclude as the law enforcement officers hand the Flame of Hope to seven Special Olympic athletes representing the seven regions of the world, who will light the official cauldron at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 25th. ESPN is the official broadcast partner of the World Games. They will televise the opening ceremony live as well as televising a nightly highlights program throughout the nine-day event.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the public to be part of this historic event. For more information on this event in Palmdale, contact Deputy Omar Chavez 661-272-2587 or Deputy Eric Caplinger at 661-272-2588, or visit our website at www.palmdale.lasd.org .
For more information on the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run® and Final Leg, visit www.letr-finalleg.org . For more information about the upcoming 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, please visit the Games’ official website at www.LA2015.org .