Flanked by an impressive entourage of Northern Virginia law enforcement and Marine Corps officers, Rose Pleskow, a Brightspot Digital QA technician and Special Olympics athlete, kicked off the 2014 Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run on Thursday, June 5, at the United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, VA.
Over the next 24 hours, law enforcement officers from throughout the Commonwealth will carry the torch by foot all the way to Richmond, where they will light the cauldron to commence the 2014 Special Olympics Virginia Summer Games.
Speaking at the kick off event, Rose shared her first experience with the Torch Run and described the impact of the annual event, "The support of Law Enforcement means so much to me and other Special Olympics athletes because we know that you are a group that understands and wants to help others in need."
This weekend, Rose will be joining the officers in Richmond, competing in the 50 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, and 50 yard breaststroke. Asked what her goals are for the weekend competition, Rose proudly stated, "I want to go best times and win some medals!"
In addition to swimming, Rose competes in a variety of Special Olympics sports including track, open water swimming, and sailing. In 2011, she had the honor of being selected to Team USA to compete at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.
Next year, the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games will return to the United States for the first time since 1999. The Games will be held in Los Angeles, and with over 7,000 athletes and 177 countries represented it will be the largest sporting event of the year.