The Torch for The Special Olympics World Winter Games being held in Boise, Idaho in February 2009, will be arriving in South Africa on Sunday, 7 December 2008, and making its way around Johannesburg as part of its world-wide journey sponsored by DHL.
The Flame of Hope for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games (SOWWG), was lit on 12 November in Athens, Greece, formally launching the Global Law Enforcement Torch Run (GLETR). In keeping with Olympic tradition, the torch was lit by the sun's rays before embarking on a three-month journey around the world to Idaho, US, the site of the 2009 World Games.
The torch will make its first stop at Constitutional Hill, where such dignitaries as counsellor Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, Johannesburg executive major (rep) and 2009 World Games athlete Sello Mabetoa and Special Olympics Africa MD Dr John Dow, Jr and 2009 World Games athlete Shavhani Ndou will be present to accept the torch and a speech by Dr Mathews Phosa, among others, will be made.
The torch will then move onto Thokza Park, Rockville, where Leah Tutu (wife of Desmond Tutu) and footballers Benedict Vilakazi, Ryan Botha and Teko Modise will also be in attendance for this occasion, as well as Special Olympics athletes.
From there the torch will visit Albertina Sisulu School, where chairman of the SOI Global Athletes Congress Ephraim Mohlakane and 2009 World Games Athlete David Ratopola, Shaka Sisulu and 2009 World Games athlete Sydwell Senyeka will be in receipt of the torch.
The proceeding will then move to Emmerentia Dam botanical gardens, where Special Olympics ambassador Lucas Radebe will receive the torch. A police officer and a 2009 World Games athlete, Rasejakate Pesa, will light the cauldron.
A free concert will then be held, with performances by Emmanuel Castis, Loyiso Bala and Danny K.
Special Olympics is an international organisation that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training and athletic competition and other related programming for 2.8 million children and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 180 countries, Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people's diverse gifts.
Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provide people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realise their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.