He wasn't on a curling rink, but Olympic gold medallist Brad Jacobs still had to hurry hard to sweep through numerous communities in two days for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
Jacobs joined hundreds of people in a number of different torch runs in his first time being involved with Special Olympics. He said he has friends in the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, and they talked him into participating this year.
“It's been great, we've hit several cities, and now Sudbury,” Jacobs said May 21 at Science North, where torch run participants gathered before making their way to Tom Davies Square. “It's for a great cause, and I'm just doing my part to help out.”
He also brought along his gold medal.
“People don't care as much about me as they do the gold medal, to be honest,” he said with a laugh.
“It brings a lot of pride to every Canadian, so they all want to get their hands on it. It's a rare occasion to see an Olympic gold medal, and whenever someone can get their picture taken with it, they're happy to do it.”
Jacobs hopes to inspire others to get involved with Special Olympics, just as others inspired him as a child to get to where he is today.
“You need role models, you need that inspiration, and I'm at that point now where hopefully I can give back in that sense.”
Greater Sudbury Police Services new top cop, Paul Pedersen, is no stranger to the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Special Olympics is the charity of choice for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, and the torch run is one of the main fundraisers for Special Olympics Ontario, he said.
“Police in the Province of Ontario raise more money than anywhere else in the world (for Special Olympics), and when policing can help others who might not have the same advantages as everyone else, it's a win-win situation,” Pedersen said.
“These athletes are wonderful human beings. At the end of the day, they always finish with a smile on their face, win, lose or draw, and what's better than that?”
Jacobs will return to Sudbury May 28 as the guest speaker for the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Ristorante Verdicchio.
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