Tuesday, October 16 , 2018, 8:32 am | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Special Olympics Flame Lights Up Santa Barbara as It Races to L.A.

Annual law enforcement relay — which started in Greece in May — is a prelude to opening ceremony for 2015 World Games

Runners participating in the Special Olympics Relay Across America carry the Flame of Hope down Anapamu Street on Friday on their way to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
Runners participating in the Special Olympics Relay Across America carry the Flame of Hope down Anapamu Street on Friday on their way to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

Chanting in cadence as they jogged down Anapamu Street on Friday afternoon, a group of law enforcement officers carried the Special Olympics flame — and the hopes and dreams of thousands of special athletes — into Santa Barbara.

Cheers rose up as the runners — decked out in red T-shirts and escorted by police patrol cars and motorcycles with lights flashing — made the turn onto Anacapa Street and surged toward their destination — the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

Friday’s final leg of the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America was part of the lead-up to the Special Olympics World Games, which runs from July 25 until Aug. 2 in Los Angeles.

The games — involving some 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers, and an anticipated 500,000 spectators — serve to convey a message of support and hope for people with intellectual disabilities.

On hand to welcome the runners and the flame Friday were dozens of supporters as well as local dignitaries, including Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, Sheriff Bill Brown, and Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Janet Wolf, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and Councilwoman Cathy Murillo,  and Deputy Police Chief Frank Mannix.

Two of Friday’s runners hold up the Flame of Hope during ceremonies at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)
Two of Friday’s runners hold up the Flame of Hope during ceremonies at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

The Special Olympic “Flame of Hope” began its trek May 15 at the sacred site of Pnyx, opposite the Acropolis, in Athens, Greece.

It began its final leg in Sacramento earlier this month, and will end up at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the opening ceremonies.

Prior to the World Games competition, Special Olympics delegations from around the world will be treated to three days of recreation, entertainment and cultural exchange at Host Towns around Southern California, including Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, July 21-24.

The Special Olympics and torch run traditionally have enjoyed strong support from the law enforcement community — locally and across the state and nation.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley welcomes runners in the Special Olympics Relay Across America to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse on Friday. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley welcomes runners in the Special Olympics Relay Across America to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse on Friday. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.