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Torch run ignites Special Olympics Montana journey to Summer Games

Special Olympics Torch Run
Posted at 8:21 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 22:21:44-04

Officers took to the streets on Friday, May 3rd, not just to patrol, but to carry the flame of hope in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Olympics.

In a display of support, officers and athletes gathered at Opportunity Bank to pass the torch from Great Falls to Wolf Creek to mark the journey towards the Summer Games held in Billings from May 15-17.

Lieutenant Zach Semenza of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office has been a part of the torch run for around 10 years and says that supporting the athletes keeps the law enforcement departments coming back year after year.

He explained, “Being in law enforcement, I know our job is to serve and protect the community and it's events like this that really make it worth it. These kinds of things are really not only important for me but for the athletes as well.”

Amidst the sea of badges and uniforms, the torch shined against the cloudy day, highlighting support from all corners of the region.

“I like to see all the cops and everybody cheering us on,” said Special Olympics athlete Jena Lawson. “I’m really excited to compete this year.”

Special Olympic Torch

For Detective Cara Guderian of the Great Falls Police Department, this annual event ignites a flame of inclusion and possibilities for the athletes.

She said, “It means a lot for the athletes. They enjoy it. Every year we get to meet our friends, our athletes out here. We get to run with them, and then we get to watch them compete in games and get to hand out medals. The torch run raises funds so that athletes can continue in the competition.”

Special Olympics Torch Run