Douglas Maifeld of Rumford, left front, runs in the 2016 Arizona Torch Run in Phoenix. He said he plans to carry the torch at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin, Germany in June 2023. Submitted photo

RUMFORD — Retired Rumford Police Sergeant Doug Maifeld is looking to carry the torch for the 2023 Special Olympics World Games this June in Germany.

Recently, he announced on Facebook, “I’m fundraising (…/FinalL…/DouglasMaifeld) for Special Olympics because they do amazing work, and I’m inviting friends like you to support my campaign. All proceeds benefit Special Olympics and the athletes.”

More than 100 law enforcement officers and 40 Special Olympics athletes from across the globe will unite to carry the Flame of Hope through Berlin and Brandenburg on June 14-17 to raise awareness for the 2023 Special Olympics World Games.

Each participant is anticipated to carry the Flame of Hope through 16 communities in Berlin and Brandenburg over those 4 days paving the way for a world of acceptance and inclusion.

Back in late 2019, Maifeld was selected as a Final Leg Torch Runner for the Special Olympics World Games in Sweden, but the site changed to Kazan, Russia. In 2021, the games were delayed due to Covid and ultimately cancelled due to the conflict.

Maifeld said, “I am proud to be representing Maine Law Enforcement, the Rumford Police Department, my school district RSU 10 (Mountain Valley) and Team USA as a Final Leg Torch Runner at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 in Germany. This is an absolute honor as only one representative per state is selected.”


He added, “Each day, we, as the Guardians of the Flame, will proudly carry the Torch through the streets of Germany to spread awareness and inclusion for all of the athletes of Special Olympics.”

Maifeld said, “If you made a donation previously to the Russia event, 100% of the $1,500, I raised went to Special Olympics Maine athletes. I am asking if everyone that helped me in 2021 can help again. I will be making one of the first donations in honor of my wife.”

The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is to increase awareness and raise funds for Special Olympics. Since its inception in 1982, the LETR has grown powerfully raising nearly $1 billion for local Special Olympics programs. The LETR currently has more than 96 programs within 46 countries and more than 95,000 participants globally.

At its most basic level, the LETR is a running event in which officers and athletes carry the Flame of Hope to the opening ceremony of local Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial Games and National Summer or Winter Games. In addition, every two years law enforcement officers from around the world gather to carry the Flame of Hope in the LETR Final Leg in honor of the Special Olympics World Summer or Winter Games.

At its most fully developed, the LETR initiative encompasses a variety of fundraising vehicles. LETR fundraising includes T-shirt and merchandise sales, donation and pledges for runners who participate in the LETR, corporate partnership and special events such as the Polar Plunge, Cops on Top, golf tournaments and other local events.

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