AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“We’ve joined in this event for all the seven years that I’ve been chief,” Couso-Vasquez said. “I’m not supposed to run because I have stenosis of the spine, but I have to do it. Some of these kids can’t even walk. It’ll be painful when I’m done, but it’s worth it, it’s in my heart.” Mora said he chose to join the torch run through Montebello because it was a Montebello police officer who inspired his career in boxing when they met 10 years ago in a local gym. “I never knew my dad and this officer was my father figure,” Mora said. Mayor Bob Bagwell was on hand to cheer on the runners as they passed the torch. “The Special Olympics is such a great event because it has the capacity to link countries and communities,” Bagwell said. MONTEBELLO – The Special Olympics torch wound through the city Thursday along its 10-day trip from San Diego to today’s opening ceremonies at Cal State Long Beach. Sergio Mora, who won the top spot on the TV reality show “The Contender,” joined several Montebello police officers in passing the torch to Montebello police Chief Garry Couso-Vasquez in front of City Hall. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest fundraising event for the Special Olympics, raising more than $25 million last year with 85,000 officers participating in 35 countries. In Southern California this year, 3,500 officers from a variety of law enforcement agencies carried the torch a total of 1,500 miles through 200 communities. “What diplomats can’t do, sports can often accomplish.” Starting June 6, two torches were carried through Southern California on their way to tonight’s opening ceremonies at Cal State Long Beach. One torch traveled from San Luis Obispo south and the other from San Diego, said Bob Basile, the Special Olympics’ director of development for the San Gabriel region. The games will attract nearly 1,600 athletes over the weekend, who will compete in in swimming, gymnastics, tennis, track and field, and basketball, he said. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!