On 14 May 2015, the Flame of Hope, the official torch for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, will be lit at the Sacred Site of Pnyx, opposite the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, formally beginning its journey to the World Games. In keeping with Olympic tradition and custom dating back to the Ancient Greeks, the torch will be lit by the sun’s rays, and will remain lit until the end of the Games on 2 August. Brian Zimmermann, a Lieutenant on the Racine County Sheriff’s Office will serve as a Guardian of the Flame of Hope and participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, the last journey of the flame throughout the state of California. Lieutenant Zimmermann has been selected by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run State Council for Special Olympics to represent all Wisconsin Law enforcement Officers to be one of the 126 Final Leg Team members. Law enforcement personnel are selected for this honor by their local Torch Run and Special Olympics program for their dedication and commitment to the Special Olympics movement.
Lieutenant Brian Zimmermann first became involved in Special Olympics in June of 1993 when he participated in his first Law Enforcement Torch Run. This first run started at 10:00 pm and consisted of 10 law enforcement officers that ran through Racine County into Milwaukee County. Brian’s initial experience was very uplifting and motivating that Brian decided his goal was to make the Racine County leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run bigger and better. Brian worked with Special Olympics and other agencies and has expanded the Racine County’s leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run event into two runs/walks. The first day law enforcement agencies from the east end of Racine County run/walk then the next day west end law enforcement agencies of Racine County run/walk. The District attorney’s Office, State law Enforcement agencies, Racine County Courts and the Racine County Communication Center have representative runners/walkers in the Racine County Law Enforcement Torch Run. Thanks to Brian the event has grown from10 participants in 1993 to over 200 participants in 2015 and created a stronger Special Olympics awareness in Racine County.
Lieutenant Zimmermann volunteers at many events throughout the year that benefit not only Special Olympics but other charities as well. Brian continues to volunteer at the Special Olympic summer games in Stevens Point, polar plunges, Run with COPS event, roof top challenges and much more.