Tampa Bay's Morning Blend


Special Olympics USA Games

Posted at 3:07 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 15:07:06-04

Law Enforcement Torch Run Ceremony – Tampa is June 1, 1-2p at the Sail Pavilion. Special Olympics USA Games is June 5-12 in Orlando, where final torch lighting culminates (runs through each county in each state.)

In Special Olympics, the athletes are the heart of the movement. Special Olympics Florida’s athletes not only have the opportunity to develop physical fitness and become competitive athletes, but through sport, they build self-esteem, social skills, friendships, leadership skills, have fun and learn life lessons that translate into their lives away from the playing field, making them more productive and accepted members of society. No matter what your ability level, you can benefit from Special Olympics. And no matter what your interest, there is a sport for you. There is no charge to participate in Special Olympics. Special Olympics Florida offers sports training and competition for athletes 8 years or older.

Leading up to the USA Games starting June 5 in Orlando, the Flame Arrival Ceremony in Tampa takes place on June 1 at 1p at the Sail Pavilion. The Flame of Hope has traveled throughout the state and will culminate at the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games on June 5 at Exploria Stadium. Opening Ceremony will be produced by Disney Live Entertainment and will feature appearances from Celebrity Games Ambassadors, Superstar performances, The Parade of Athletes, and the lighting of the Flame of Hope officially kicking off the Games. Opening Ceremony will be broadcast nationally on ABC and will feature 5500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and The Caribbean.

Law enforcement officers from over 300 Florida agencies — police departments, sheriff’s offices, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Customs, Air Force Police and Florida Fish and Wild Life Conservation Commission (FWCC) — all participate in the state-wide torch run to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Florida. Each year, over 5,000 officers carry the torch on a 1500-mile relay through 67 counties in Florida to the Opening Ceremony of our annual State Summer Games. Retired Chief Deputy Dave Sklarek of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office serves as the volunteer State Director of the Torch Run.

Funds are generated through the sale of the popular Torch Run T-shirts and hats, and through various local fundraising events like Tip-A-Cop where law enforcement personnel volunteer their time as “celebrity waiters” in restaurants and receive tips to raise funds for Special Olympics Florida. These officers work closely alongside the regular wait staff, serving water and coffee, and acting as hosts.

You can support Special Olympics Florida and your local law enforcement agency by taking part in one of the many fun events they hold throughout the year or by buying annual Torch Run commemorative t-shirts or hats. Contact your local law enforcement agency to get yours.

Despite severe need and higher health risks, people with intellectual disabilities are often denied health services and die on average 16 years sooner than the general population.

Special Olympics Health, made possible by the Golisano Foundation, and in the United States in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is creating a world where people with intellectual disabilities have every opportunity to be healthy.

Staying physically active is an important part of training for sport and maintaining and improving overall health. The bridge between health and sports, fitness is optimal health and performance through adequate nutrition, hydration, and physical activity. Learn more: www.specialolympicsflorida.org/our-programs/health-fitness-programs [specialolympicsflorida.org]

Special Olympics also provides more than training and competition for athletes. From health screenings to athlete leadership, home fitness, youth and adaptive sports, unified champion schools, and health and fitness, Special Olympics is a wonderful resource for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers. Learn more: https://www.specialolympicsflorida.org/our-programs [specialolympicsflorida.org]

Special Olympics Florida relies on the time and dedication of thousands of volunteers each year. Thank you for making a difference for the athletes we serve! Whether you are a group or an individual, there is an opportunity available to volunteer. Volunteers have an opportunity to assist in a variety of programs at a local, regional and statewide level. Some opportunities require long-term commitments and specific skills. Other opportunities require limited time commitments and less specific sports skills but are just as important to the overall success of the program. Learn more: www.specialolympicsflorida.org/get-involved/volunteer [specialolympicsflorida.org]

Tampa Bay's Morning Blend

9:57 PM, Oct 16, 2018

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