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2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Law Enforcement Torch RunReceiving/Welcoming the Flame of Hope

The following is issued on behalf of Hong Kong Special Olympics:

The Receiving Ceremony of the Torch called the "Flame of Hope" of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Law Enforcement Torch Run was held today (September 27) at the UC Centenary Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui. The President of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC), Mr Timothy Fok, officiated at the Receiving Ceremony, kicking off the torch relay run in the territory.

Participants of the Hong Kong torch relay included the athletes and representatives from Hong Kong's law enforcement departments, including the Immigration Department, Government Flying Service, Customs and Excise Department, Correctional Services Department, Fire Services Department, Independent Commission Against Corruption and Hong Kong Police Force.

The torch relay, starting from the UC Centenary Garden and running through the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade to the Kowloon Public Pier, concluded at the Golden Bauhinia Square at Wan Chai where the Welcoming Ceremony of the "Flame of Hope" was held.

Officiating at the Welcoming Ceremony was the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose Lee, who handed over the "Flame of Hope" to the Chairman of Hong Kong Special Olympics, Mr David Ip, the athletes, representatives of the seven law enforcement departments, and representatives of the 18 District Councils.

The Receiving and Welcoming Ceremonies of the "Flame of Hope" of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Law Enforcement Torch Run was co-organised by Hong Kong Special Olympics, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Special Olympics International and 2007 Shanghai Special Olympics Games Steering Committee.

Speaking at the Welcoming ceremony, Mr Ip expressed his gratitude to the support rendered from the various organisations making the event a success.

"We are thankful to the support from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, DHL, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Albert C W Chan Foundation, Hong Kong Disneyland, A-CLUB Trading Ltd., Kappa and SF&OC, China, without their support, this event would not be held," Mr Ip said.

The 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held in Shanghai, China in October, 2007. Following the tradition of Special Olympics Inc., the Special Olympics World Summer Games Law Enforcement Torch Run is held in selected global cities and the host country by a team of Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement officers. The Special Olympics movement provides a unique global platform for accepting and caring for the unfortunate, and the Flame of Hope's journey around the world is a symbol of the mission not only to give new hope to Special Olympics athletes and their families, but also to break down barriers and create awareness for the social change around the world.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an important event for the Special Olympics World Summer Games which began in 1981. The 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Law Enforcement Torch Run consists of two parts: one within China's borders and one outside. The one outside China's borders began in Athens, Greece. It stopped in major global selected cities to welcome the torch and community celebrations were held. These cities included London (England), Cairo(Egypt), Washington DC(USA), Tokyo(Japan), Seoul(South Korea) and Sydney(Australia). The one within China's borders began in Beijing on September 26 and then passed to Harbin, Dalian, Xi'an, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Jiaxing, Wenzhou before arriving Hong Kong on September 27 and to Macau on September 28. Finally, the Flame of Hope will arrive at the Opening Ceremony stadium in Shanghai on October 2.

For enquiries, please contact Ms. Fay Ho, National Director of Hong Kong Special Olympics at 26973731.

Ends/Thursday, September 27, 2007

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