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SLOPD Officer to Run Special Olympics Torch

A San Luis Obispo police officer will be among those lighting the Olympic Torch at the Special Olympics World Games Austria 2017, the department announced.
Lt. Bill Proll was chosen to carry the “The Flame of Hope” as the torch is called, as it makes its way from Athens, Greece, to Schladming, Graz and Ramsau, Austria for the March games.

“In keeping with Olympic tradition and custom dating back to the Ancient Greeks,” SLOPD Capt. Jeff Smith said, “the torch will be lit by the sun’s rays, and will remain lit until the end of the Games on March 25.”
Lt. Proll will serve as a “Guardian of the Flame of Hope” and participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run’s final leg, as the flame makes its way throughout Austria.
Lt. Proll is one of just 10 police officers chosen from around the world to be a team leader on the final leg. He’s been participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, an annual fundraiser for Special Olympics, for some 25 years. Lt. Proll has worked at SLOPD since 1984.
Team Leaders are selected for this honor by the International Law Enforcement Torch Run for their dedication and commitment to the Special Olympics movement, Capt. Smith said.
The Final Leg Team will begin in Bregenz, Austria and take two different routes, running the torch through 45 cities, towns and communities across Austria at various events, honoring the spirit of the Special Olympics global movement.
They will also convey the message of hope “to communities where people with intellectual disabilities continue to fight for acceptance and inclusion.”
The Flame of Hope is scheduled to arrive at the Opening Ceremonies on March 18. The Final Leg Team (133 members) is comprised of law enforcement runners, Special Olympics athletes, and logistics team members from 44 states and 26 countries around the world representing 83 Torch Run Programs. For more information on the Final Leg Team and the participating members, see: www.letr-finalleg.org

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