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Final leg of the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games torch runs began in Lethbridge

Lethbridge was the start of the final leg for the run, which is the LETR’s largest public awareness and fundraising organization for the Special Olympics. Lethbridge was the start of the final leg for the run, which is the LETR’s largest public awareness and fundraising organization for the Special Olympics.
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LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -

They ran through the streets of downtown Lethbridge Friday morning for the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.

Leading the pack was Special Olympics athlete David Hall.

“Running across the province helps people with the Special Olympics so it's a big opportunity,” he said. “Being an athlete myself, it's kind of important for everyone to be all included.”

Hill has been competing in track and field for the past 20 years. His mom, Carol, says his passion and dedication for the sport is what keeps him going everyday.

“Just the fact that he's allowed and able to share the spirit of the games that are coming up and share the inclusive nature of the Special Olympics is going to be outstanding,” Carol said.

FINAL LEG

Lethbridge was the start of the final leg for the run, which is the LETR’s largest public awareness and fundraising organization for the Special Olympics.

Cst. Braylon Hyggen with the Lethbridge Police Service and LETR organizer says the organizations holds a number of year-round fundraising activities such as polar plunges to bring athletes to the Olympics.

“It's great to see the ability that these athletes have so no matter what challenges they have had, they overcome in the sports and the comaraderie that they have with this organizer brings them out of their shell and gives them something to do and something to prove themselves and show the abilities that they do have,” Hyggen said.

Following Lethbridge, the Flame of Hope was run in Coaldale, Taber and Medicine Hat.

Over the next five days, the flame will be carried through 12 cities and communities across Alberta until it reaches Calgary.

“Special Olympics has grown so immensely over the last 20 years,” said Matthew Burton, organizer of the final leg.

“In 1987, we brought the law enforcement torch run program into Canada, and now we’re seeing over 2,000 officers from Canada who are taking part in their provinces, doing fundraising, doing events like this, all in an effort to spread the message of inclusion for Special Olympics athletes.”

The Special Olympics will take place in Calgary from Feb. 27 to March 7 with nearly 1,300 athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff.

17-year-old Moriah Van’t Land will be taking to the ice for figuring skating in her first Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.

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