Vancouver’s finest make a special effort for the Special Olympics
Today, Wednesday, June 1, was the second day of the four day, Lower Mainland, 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics British Columbia (LETR).
The 14-or-so police officers making the Vancouver leg of the run had smiles and waves for onlookers as they breezed through the eastbound lane of the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue at precisely 12 Noon.
Preceded by two Vancouver police officers on motorcycles and followed by both a LETR support vehicle and a VPD cruiser, the runners started downtown from 1600 West Georgia St. at 11:30 a.m., then headed south across the Granville Street Bridge into the Fairview neighbourhood. They planned to finish by 1 p.m. at 2120 Cambie St., headquarters of the Vancouver Police Department.
A run in the sun for the fun of sport
This provincial chapter of the global Special Olympics movement is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization dedicated to providing sport, recreation, training and competition to all British Columbians with intellectual disabilities.
This year, the focus of the B.C.Special Olympics community is on regional events to qualify athletes for the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games.
It’s not, as some might think, the Games of the 31st Olympiad, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5th to the 21st.
After the 31st Summer Olynpics wrap up, Rio de Janeiro will host the 15th Summer Paralympic Games from September 7th to the 18th.
Both the Paralympics and the Special Olympics are international sporting movements for disabled or differently-abled athletes. They share many of the same general goals they shouldn’t be confused. They are separate and distinct.
According to Jessica Rogers’ “Paralympics vs. Special Olympics“:
Special Olympics athletes must have cognitive delays, intellectual or developmental disabilities and most (but not all) are children. The focus is on the value and enjoyment of sports in general.
Paralympic athletes, on the other hand, are mainly those with physical disabilities and most are adults. The focus is on year-round, specialized training, at the level of an Olympic athlete, in one specific sport. Click the images to enlarge them.