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Meet Delaware’s Final Leg Torch-Runner

Final-Leg Runner
Lt. James Diana – Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.  

Since 1995, Jim Diana has devoted much of his involvement as a Special Olympics volunteer participating in the Torch Run. So, it comes as no surprise that that’s exactly how he is spending his time in Orlando this week as part of the Final Leg leading up to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

“I was introduced to John Miller who had been Delaware’s LESO state director since 1991 and was the organizer of the first Delaware Torch Run in 1987. John inspired me to become more involved and I committed myself to be an active volunteer and one who not only would spread the word about SODE but also would lead others in advancing SODE’s mission.”

His desire to lead has resulted in Diana being asked to fill various roles throughout the years at fundraising and sports events and on committees, first during his tenure with the Wilmington Police Department and currently as an officer with the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.  

“My favorite Special Olympics memories are those times when I have had the honor to present medals and ribbons to athletes at Special Olympics Delaware competitions,” Diana said. “Receiving hugs, hand salutes and high-fives from the athletes, and seeing their excitement when I place a medal around their neck is truly a special gift and a humbling experience.”

The next experience for the 2018 “Winnie Spence Torch Runner of the Year” is now having the distinct honor of representing Delaware as part of the Final Leg at the USA Games. The Final Leg tradition is for law enforcement officers, representing their state and Torch Run Program, to act as “Guardians of the Flame” and carry the Special Olympics Torch and the “Flame of Hope” to the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics USA Games.

“When I received the call from Greg Nolt who informed me that I had been selected, I was taken completely by surprise and was immediately excited,” Diana shared.

The Final Leg Team is comprised of law enforcement runners, Special Olympics athletes, and Logistics Team members from 49 states representing their Law Enforcement Torch Run and Special Olympics programs. Final Leg runners were chosen for their dedication and commitment to the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Special Olympics by their respective Torch Run Programs throughout the country.

“I am honored and humbled knowing that I will be representing Delaware as a Law Enforcement Torch Runner on the USA Games Final Leg team,” Diana added. 

Jim will be joined in Florida by Danny Hall of the Delaware State Police who will be on the Advance Team.

For more information about Team Delaware, click here.     

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