The Special Olympics Ontario Winter Games 2011 in Thunder Bay featured a 5km Final Leg run in freezing temperatures reaching -50 degrees (with the wind chill). This was Deb Muller’s introduction to the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) and Special Olympics (SO) but luckily the smiles and positive energy outweighed the cold temperatures that day. “It is truly an amazing experience that is so hard to put into words,” expressed Deb.
Since then, Deb has been involved in planning and participating in all kinds of LETR and SO events including Torch Runs, Mall Tolls, Law Enforcement Serving You, School Sporting Events and so much more. “I love the athletes and their continuous, positive outlook in life. The appreciation, gratitude and excitement they show towards law enforcement truly makes me believe there is still some good out in the world and keeps me going when the job gets tough.”
Deb cherishes the connections she has created with local athletes and credits these connections for helping her realize how important inclusion and acceptance really is. “The athletes have taught me how important it is to have the courage to keep going in life and to get back up and try again when you fall, and to keep a positive attitude in doing so. Their dedication and determination is infectious.”
It’s a tough task for Deb to recall her favourite LETR or SO memory since there are so many. She narrowed it down to her first LETR International Conference and handing out well-earned awards to the athletes. “At the LETR International Conference, it was so incredible to see so many different people from all different types of agencies and backgrounds come together and support each other. My other top memory would be dressing in my number one dress uniform to hand out ribbons to the athletes. It is SUCH a fun time! The athletes are so excited to come forward even to accept a participation ribbon if they did not place, and the excitement and smiles on their faces are purely genuine.”
As a Zone Coordinator for her area, Deb is active in recruiting law enforcement members to participate in LETR and SO events in the area. “I always tell people, the amount of patience, respect, acceptance, dedication, determination and excitement that has been shown to me by the athletes is so rewarding! Going into large events with several athletes, the thunderous roars and their genuine appreciation for life is what keeps me wanted to continue being a part of LETR. You only have to experience that once to catch the bug. I highly recommend it, you won’t be disappointed!”