Sheriff Parkinson, Ret. Lt. Proll selected to carry Flame of Hope for 2019 Special Olympics

At previous Special Olympic events, left, Sheriff Ian Parkinson, right, Ret. Lt. Bill Proll of San Luis Obispo were selected to carry the 2019 Flame of Hope in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Contributed photos)

SAN LUIS OBISPO —  Special Olympics International recently announced that San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and retired San Luis Obispo Police Lt. Bill Proll were selected to serve as part of the Final Leg team, serving as Guardians of the Flame as they run the “Flame of Hope” throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March, leading up to the start of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Final Leg runners from around the world were selected to represent their local Torch Run and Special Olympics Programs.
The Final Leg team will embark on different routes, running the Flame of Hope throughout cities and communities across the United Arab Emirates at various events, honouring the spirit of the Special Olympics global movement and delivering a message of hope to communities where people with intellectual disabilities continue to fight for acceptance and inclusion. The Final Leg Team will safely deliver the “Flame of Hope” to the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi Opening Ceremony on March 14.
As one of 96 law enforcement officers worldwide, Sheriff Parkinson was selected as the runner from all of Southern California. Proll, who is currently a reserve police officer at the San Luis Obispo Police Department, was selected to be one of 10 team leaders on the 2019 Abu Dhabi World Games Final Leg Torch Run Team. Both Parkinson and Proll have been involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics for over 25 years. They both have volunteered at the annual Tip a Cop Dinners, Torch Runs, and other Special Olympic events in this county.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for the 2019 World Games will take place from March 3-14. A team of 112 members — which includes 96 law enforcement officer runners, 10 Special Olympics athletes, and logistics personnel — will serve as Guardians of the Flame as they run the Flame of Hope throughout the UAE. The Final Leg and community visits will raise excitement for the World Games throughout the country.
“For more than 38 years, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has been an integral part of the Special Olympics Movement,” said Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games. “We look forward to cheering on the Final Leg Team as they bring the World Games message of inclusion throughout the country.”
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics (LETR) is Special Olympics’ largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle in the world. Nearly 100,000 law enforcement members in all 50 U.S. States, 12 Canadian provinces/territories, and 44 countries contribute to LETR efforts annually as Guardians of the Flame, ensuring the delivery of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremony of local Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial Games, and national/regional Games.
For more information on the Final Leg team and the members participating, visit


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