Lighting on a torch by Special Olympic athletes from China and Britain at the square in front of the Greater London Assembly office building by river Thames at 11 am on 4 July 2007, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for 2007 Shanghai Special Olympics started formally. After passing all the relay points such as UK National Power office building as well as famous scenic spots like Trafalgar Square, the torch procession arrived at Leicester Square in London Chinatown.
Welcome ceremony of Olympic torch was held at this place. Following the brilliant dragon dance and lion dance organized by Chinese communities in Britain, more than 200 Chinese nationals and students in Britain and dozens of British children lined the streets on Leicester Square to welcome torch procession, pushing the movement to a climax. Special Olympics Great Britain Chairman Lawrie McMenemy, Vice Mayor of Shanghai and Executive Vice Chairman of Shanghai Special Olympics Zhou Taitong, Ambassador Fu Ying, representatives of Chinese and British law enforcement officials and representatives of Chinese Special Olympics athletes addressed the audience.
Fu Ying spoke highly of the spirit of Special Olympics of "skill, courage, sharing and joy" and the theme of Shanghai Special Olympics "I know I can". She pointed out this theme is in line with not only the spirit of Special Olympics, but the spirit of building a harmonious society initiated by China. The magnificent torch run in London participated by Chinese and British law enforcement officials is the reflection of equality, mutual aid and harmonious coexistence. She hopes the whole society will make joint efforts to love and care for mentally disabled and build a peaceful, harmonious, prosperous and developing world.
Zhou Taitong emphasized the friendship between Chinese and British people traces its history back to ancient times. Today we were linked together by law enforcement torch run for Special Olympics. Both the number of participating countries and length of course set a new record in the history of world Special Olympics, in which all the participants take pride.
Special Olympics Great Britain Chairman Lawrie McMenemy hosted the welcome ceremony of Olympic torch. In his speech, he called on British people to understand and concern about Special Olympics, support and give financial aid to charities for mentally disabled.
Different from Olympic Games and Paralympics, Special Olympics is an international public game participated by mentally disabled. The first Special Olympics was held in 1968 in Chicago, US. Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics started in 1981, when the police head of Kansas planned a torch run participated by the law enforcement officials, including army, police and prison officials during the Special Olympics in Kansas for the purpose of expanding the influence of Special Olympics, raising funds for it and further improving the relations between the people and police. Receiving the emphasis and support of US governments at all levels, this event scored an unexpected success and was named "Law Enforcement Torch Run" by Special Olympics International. Law Enforcement Torch Run has now become a traditional special event of Special Olympics, important component of international Special Olympics and an activity with most participants and largest social influence besides the opening ceremony and closing ceremony. Summer Special Olympics 2007 will be held in Shanghai during 2-12 October 2007, which will be the first time a developing country hosts world Special Olympics. Chinese embassy will hold a reception for British delegation for Special Olympics in September.