Torch run opens Special Olympic B.C. Summer Games

By Chad Klassen
July 6, 2017 - 11:00am Updated: July 6, 2017 - 6:14pm

KAMLOOPS — The Special Olympic B.C. Summer Games' cauldron won't be officially lit until Thursday night during the Opening Ceremony, but a police escort with athletes and law enforcement from across B.C. ran through the streets of Kamloops in the morning with the sacred flame. 

"Today, there's four. Myself from Vancouver. We have one from the Yukon. We have the Kamloops RCMP, and we also have Corrections Officers joining us," said Insp. Joanne Wild from the Vancovuer Police Department.

Law enforcement agencies from around the world have been influential in helping Special Olympics host events like the B.C. Summer Games this week. 

"It's actually a worldwide event raising money for Special Olympics internationally. It started in 1981, and in B.C. started in 1990. In 2015, it raised over $55 million worldwide and since 1991 we've raised more than $3 million in B.C. alone," noted Wild. 

Nearly 1,600 athletes and coaches are in kamloops eagerly awaiting the Opening Ceremony on Thursday evening. But there is still more last-minute tasks to finish only a day before competition begins. 

"Right now it's best described as frantic. We've got people everywhere working. But it's very organized. I've got a tremendous organizing committee from Kamloops, and the SOBC staff are all here," said Summer Games chair Karl DeBruijn. 

The Opening Ceremony happens on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Sandman Centre and admission is free. 

"I think it's going to be a great show, and I really encourage people from Kamloops to come on out and see it and support these incredible athletes. Just welcome them, show them the Kamloops hospitality. But in return, they're going to get an absolutely tremendous show. We've got participation from the Kamloops Indian Band. We've got participation from the military, the RCMP. There's the torch lighting."

Kids summer camps and activities in full swing throughout Kamloops