Special Olympics Torch Run Next Week

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

Later this month folks will have a chance to participate in a tradition that has been running, quite literally, for more than three decades. Dan Canavan is the community director for Special Olympics here in Kodiak and said this year’s Torch Run will be May 17.
“And it’s led by the law enforcement throughout the nation and I forget the statistics on it but there are about 32,000 communities around the United States that participate.”
Here in Alaska, Canavan said about a dozen communities around the state will begin the race at the same time on the 17th.
“So if you can imagine we’ll have an entire state basically participating in a torch run all at the same time. And locally, again this year, Kodiak Police Department has taken lead and really has charge of the torch run.”
Lieutenant DJ Chumpner is with KPD and said law enforcement started partnering with Special Olympics for the torch run back in 1981.
“The police chief came up with the idea for his officers to interact with the community and support the local athletes. And it took off from there. And as you said it’s grown across the country, it’s actually worldwide now. There’s runs in the Caribbean, Canada, all over the place – Central America. So it’s become quite a phenomenon.”
You can hear more about the Torch Run and other Special Olympics events happening this month by tuning in to KMXT’s Talk of the Rock today at 12:30 p.m. We’ll hear more from Canavan and Chumpner, as well as talk with some local athletes and unified partners.

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