FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies joined Special Olympics athletes on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale for the 40th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Michelle Canazaro, a multisport athlete who started to compete when she was 8, carried the torch. When the gold medalist is not training for snowshoeing or paddleboarding, she is swimming. Her team sports include soccer, softball, and basketball.

“It tells everyone that you are important just like everybody else and you are setting the example for all other types of athletes in the community,” Canazaro said.

Lt. Steve Feeley said the law enforcement community has been supporting athletes like her for decades with events to raise awareness and fundraisers.

“It allows the athletes to see how deeply we care for them,” Feeley said. “It also allows the public to see this is who we are.”

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is leading the fundraising race with $7,515. The Oakland Police Department team has raised $2,537. The Florida Department of Corrections has raised $1,173. The Miami Beach Police Department team has raised $410.

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Special Olympics athletes in South Florida are preparing to compete June 5-12, 2022 in the Florida Special Olympics Summer Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. For information about how to make a donation, visit this page.

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