Special Olympics Florida

Florida law enforcement police chief to carry Flame of Hope at 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

Rosell Honored with Spot on 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg Team

 Before competition begins at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle next July, an elite group of individuals will serve as the “Guardians of the Flame” and escort the Special Olympics Flame of Hope on a journey across Washington state.  Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Rich Rosell of Indian River Shores, Florida is among those who will make up the prestigious “Final Leg” team for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.

Since the first Special Olympics USA Games in 2006, members of law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes from across the United States have carried the Flame of Hope in the LETR Final Leg to usher the start of the national competition.

From June 27 through July 1, the LETR Final Leg team will conduct multiple runs and ceremonies in cities, towns and communities across Washington state to raise awareness for Special Olympics and generate excitement for the 2018 USA Games. The 2018 LETR Final Leg culminates on July 1 when the team escorts the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“I am tremendously grateful for the awareness and support our law enforcement brings for the mission of Special Olympics.  I can not emphasize enough the impact the LETR program has had, not only for our state, but worldwide.  We are so proud to have Chief Rosell representing Special Olympics Florida’s athletes on the final leg,” said Sherry Wheelock, president and CEO of Special Olympics Florida. 

Chief Rosell has supported Special Olympics athletes through his leadership of the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Florida.  With nearly 10,000 law enforcement and correction officers participating throughout the state, Rosell was excited to be selected for this once-in-a-lifetime honor. “It is the moral obligation of every law enforcement officer in the country to interact positively with the community we serve.  Choosing to serve the athletes of Special Olympics Florida builds on the legacy started by Chief Lamunyon in 1984.  It is a great honor for me to be serving the athletes and participating in the Final Leg,” said Rosell, who is a 27-year veteran of the New Jersey State Police, a former United States Marine, a former NJ Army National Guardsman, and is a current member of the U.S. Army Reserve holding the rank of Master Sergeant. 

Special Olympics Florida will be sending a delegation of 224 athletes, coaches and support staff to Seattle.  Team Florida athletes hail from 24 counties across the state, including: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Escambia, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Lake, Leon, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter, Volusia, and Walton Counties.  Athletes will be competing in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the Special Olympics movement’s largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle in the world. In 2016, law enforcement volunteers raised $56.6 million for Special Olympics programs around the world and eclipsed $675 million since the inception of the LETR in 1981.

For more information on the LETR Final Leg team, please visit www.letr-finalleg.org. The schedule of events and ceremonies for the 2018 USA Games LETR Final Leg will be announced in Spring 2018.

Photos from the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run will be available on the LETR Final Leg website.

About the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 participants representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2018 USA Games will also highlight Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building. For more information on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, please visit www.SpecialOlympicsUSAGames.org.