SSFPD Support Gatepath Participants During Special Olympics Torch Run – and Beyond!

South San Francisco, CA  June 15, 2019

Because they really care; that is the reason our South San Francisco Police Officers participate in the annual Special Olympic Torch Run each year, carrying the torch from our San Bruno border to our neighboring town of Colma, via El Camino Real,in tandem with local Gatepath participants, those with special needs who benefit directly from this annual fundraiser which brings awareness to the circumstances surrounding them in their daily life.

Gatepath participants know it’s all about team work as they get ready to set out on the Special Olympics Torch Run 2019


Officers are known as the ‘Guardians of the Flame’, as they, and Special Olympics athletes, carry the “Flame of Hope”, as part of the relay from city to city, into Opening Ceremony, which will be held at UC Davis June 21st through the 23rd. ‘Approximately 770 Special Olympics athletes along with 285 coaches will compete in the 2019 Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games, the culminating competition for their spring sports season.  After weeks of training and competing at a regional competition, athletes will have the opportunity to complete against athletes from all over Northern California in bocce, swimming, tennis, or track and field.’ the 2019 Special Olympics website explains.

The Special Olympics Torch Run for South City participants started at the San Bruno border, via El Camino Real – with police escort!


This was the first year Gateway participated in the Torch Run and included Christopher Madrano, Ulisess Arias, Jordan Javier, Daniel Mendoza, Gerard Bondoc, and Ethan Blair, with Arias having the proud task of handing the torch to the Colma Police department on behalf of the SSFPD. This 2.5 mile run was a challenge for these young men, and our amazing men and women in blue, showed true colors in their amazing support as they cheered each runner on, often teaming up with a runner to ensure they would succeed.

Coming up on Hickey Blvd, this 2.5 mile run takes endurance, fortitude, persistence – and loving encouragement from all!


“Our participants tried to keep up with the police department but the pace was a little too much. It warmed my heart to see Officer Elena walk back to one of my participants and run with him to keep him company.” exclaimed Gatepath Community Access Site Supervisor, Norma Herndanez. “In fact some of the officers paired up with our participants to make sure they are safe. Talk about inclusion at its finest!”


Officer Elena circles back to encourage Gatepath participants to continue towards the goal, which is in sight!


“Only a bit further” Officer Elena tells Chris “You can make it!”


Not wanting to give up, Chris takes Officer Elena’s words to heart and continues making his way to the finish line at the Colma border.



To view the video capturing these kind acts of inclusion, encouragement, and care CLICK HERE


Having made the 2.5 mile Special Olympic Torch Run 2019, the team takes a break and posses for this group photo


To learn more about Gatepath CLICK HERE

To learn more about the Special Olympics Torch Run CLICK HERE

To learn more about Special Olympics CLICK HERE


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