Los Angeles: With a finish line thousands of miles away, three teams of runners, consisting of law enforcement and volunteers carrying a symbolic torch, are methodically advancing towards the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Recently retired LAPD Officer Tyler Izen is currently on the route known as the “Southern Route” of the Special Olympics journey appropriately called the “Flame of Hope.” This integral part of a trio of torch runs, at a distance of over 4,000 miles, culminates into the three torches lighting the iconic flame at the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
“It’s an amazing experience,” Izen said as he and his team members triumphantly paraded into their next destination, the city of Durham, North Carolina. It’s quite a distance from where Officer Izen was assigned only a few months ago. Izen, who recently retired as the President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, was accustomed to high level negotiations and overseeing a budget equal to a small corporation. Now he is escorting a Special Olympics runner and community volunteer through the rolling hills of North Carolina.
Eventually arriving in Los Angeles in late July, Izen will escort the Southern “Flame of Hope” where it will be united into the Special Olympics caldron prominently featured at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum located next to the University of Southern California campus.
For current progress and updates concerning the Special Olympics World Games, see the website at unifiedrelay.org, or call LAPD Media Relations at (213) 486-5910.