DHL Carries “Flame of Hope” for Law Enforcement Torch Run Around the World to China for the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games
London, 13 June 2007 - DHL, the world’s leading express and logistics company, today announced a global partnership with Special Olympics International, by providing logistics support for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China, and the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho, USA.
The partnership between DHL and Special Olympics marks the first time that the “Flame of Hope,” which is traditionally carried by law enforcement personnel and Special Olympics athletes, will be transported globally prior to reaching the Opening Ceremony of the 2007 World Summer Games on 2 October 2007.
The 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai will host 7,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from more than 160 countries and regions. The Torch Run is Special Olympics’ largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle, with the objective of showcasing the unification of society and the inclusive nature of Special Olympics.
For more than 25 years, the “Flame of Hope,” which symbolizes the courage and celebrates the diversity represented by the Special Olympics movement, has been traditionally lit in Athens, Greece, and then carried to the site of the Special Olympics World Games. During the 2007 Law Enforcement Torch Run®, the “Flame of Hope” will be lit on 29 June in the ancient Olympic tradition on the Sacred Site of Pnyx (facing the Acropolis of Athens), marking the beginning of the Torch Run. The journey of the flame will begin by a Torch Run of Special Olympics Athletes and law enforcement officers to the Chinese Embassy in Athens. The flame will then travel from Athens around the world for three months before arriving in China for the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games, where it will be used to ignite the giant Special Olympics Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony.
DHL will leverage its network of hubs and gateways to move the “Flame of Hope” across these cities using a combination of cargo planes and DHL vehicles or boats to ceremony locations in each host city. The three-month global Torch Run is a joint effort of Special Olympics International, the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Steering Committee and DHL. In the tradition of Special Olympics, the ceremony will be graced by heads of state, international sports figures and celebrities.
After the World Summer Games in Shanghai, the 2007 flame will reside at DHL headquarters in tribute to the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games. In 2009, the “Flame of Hope” will again be lit in Athens and make its voyage by DHL across the globe to the 2009 Special Olympics Winter Games in Idaho.
In addition, DHL is a Global Supporter of Special Olympics International and will also deliver equipment for the Opening Ceremony.
A host of activities for DHL staff will be organized at a global level to spur volunteerism, involving employees to create public awareness to promote inclusion and acceptance. DHL employee volunteers, together with their families and customers, will join the athletes and law enforcement officers in the cities where the Torch Runs are held.
DHL is an active participant in the global sporting scene and has, over the last 12 months, sponsored several world-renowned sporting events, including NBA, FIFA World Cup 2006, American “Major League Baseball”, Formula One and the New Zealand Lions Tour.
Moving the “Flame of Hope” for Special Olympics and providing logistics support to Special Olympics is another of DHL’s contributions to sports.