Hundreds of police hit the streets this month to lead the charge in welcoming thousands of athletes to the Los Angeles area for this year’s Special Olympics Summer World Games.
Officers from Cypress and Westminster police departments on Friday, June 12, were called to be Guardians of the Flame as they escorted the Flame of Hope to its final destination at Whaley Park in Long Beach.
Cypress PD and Westminster PD were among 10 Southern California agencies to run the final leg.
“We were proud to carry the flame through the streets of Cypress to welcome the athletes,” said Cypress mayor Rob Johnson, who served as a Guardian of the Flame along with members of the police department. “It was a true honor to be a part of such a remarkable event.”
The Flame of Hope was ignited in May during a formal ceremony at the Sacred Site of Pnyx in Athens, Greece.
From there, it landed in Washington, D.C., then headed west.
The torch landed in Southern California this month and, over 13 days, was carried across more than 120 cities.
Members of the Cypress PD and Westminster PD, flanked by several athletes participating in this year’s games, ran proudly though city streets carrying the flame — which represents hope for the intellectually and physically disabled who continue to fight for inclusion and acceptance.
The Summer Games, which will run from July 25 to Aug. 2, are expected to bring in more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries and draw more than a half-million spectators.
Events include aquatics, basketball, equestrian, gymnastics, open water swim, sailing, triathlon and volleyball, among others.
For more information visit specialolympics.org.