Frederick County athlete Adam Hays was honored today, September 16th, 2016, with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Executive Council Athlete Award at the annual LETR International conference in Phoenix, AZ.
A special thanks to the law enforcement community here in Maryland, our LETR Executive Council for their leadership, current Executive Council Chair Danielle Bradshaw-Lee and past Chair John Newnan for your inclusion of ambassadors like Adam, Michael Heup and Nick Stewart. And for your support of all SOMD athletes.
Adam, we are very proud of you and all that you do for Special Olympics Maryland, Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run and the global movement. Your are an exceptional ambassador for Special Olympics and millions of your fellow athletes around the world. Way to Go Adam!
READ PART OF ADAMS NOMINATION FORM BELOW
2003 First time running in Frederick County
2005 First time running at state level
2006 First International LETR Conference
2007 Final Torch Bearer for SOMD Summer Games
2011 Athlete Torch Bearer for 2011 World Games in Athens, Greece
Adam has participated alongside his LETR family as a Torch Runner in his local program of Fredrick County, as well as at the State level and International level. Adam has carried the “Flame of Hope” through almost every county in Maryland and was selected as the Athlete Torch Runner from Maryland for the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens Greece. While in Greece Adam gave 17 speeches/presentations about the LETR and its importance in his life. One of these presentations was in front of 5000 people. Adam is never one to be satisfied with being just the face of the LETR, he has always been actively involved in the raising of funds as well, and for the last 9 years Adam has been a Super Plunger, Plunging into the icy Chesapeake Bay in January to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics. Adam has raised well in excess of $50,000 personally for Maryland SOMD. When not Plunging into Icy Water or sitting on rooftops, or running alongside his Law Enforcement family Adam can be found giving speeches at state, regional and international LETR conferences on the benefits of inclusion, and focusing attention on abilities rather than disabilities. When Adam’s time as Athlete ambassador was up, and he passed the Torch on to a friend and fellow Maryland Athlete, Adam made the decision to not sit back on his laurels but to help create the Athlete Mentors program. A program that trains athletes to speak in public, and make presentation that3 spread awareness of the cause. This program has grown tremendously, and allows athletes and SOMD staff the ability to work together to change minds, and promote inclusion. As an accomplished speaker, Adam is often asked to speak about his LETR experiences to businesses and supporters, and never hesitates to thank the LETR for the opportunities it has given him to meet and educate the public.
Adam has spoken at the Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run Kick off on many occasions, but his “taking the show on the road” tour has allowed him to speak to Police and Correctional academy students about the Law Enforcements Torch Run, and the benefits of becoming involved. Adam addresses new officers, and engages them at the start of their careers, so that becoming a part of the LETR is as natural as annual training. Not satisfied to only engage Law Enforcement, Adam has encouraged numerous athlete mentors to speak to academy classes, and local departments about the mutual benefits between athletes and law enforcement through the LETR.
Adam served as the Athlete Ambassador to the Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run from 2010-2013. As the first Maryland Athlete Ambassador, Adam did an incredible job setting the standard by which all future Ambassadors will be measured. He has participated in innumerable Torch Run events starting in 2003 when he participated in his first Torch Run with Frederick County Law Enforcement. Over the years Adam has participated in Torch Runs, Final Legs, Tip-A Cops, Cops on Rooftops, Plunges and Dunks. Never satisfied doing just the minimum, he has “lead from the front of the pack” as a perennial Super Plunger – jumping into the freezing Chesapeake Bay in January 24 times in 24 hours to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Maryland. He has frequently appeared on local TV newscasts, radio shows and TV commercials highlighting Special Olympics and Torch Run events, and has made many famous friends in the process to include Super Bowl MVP’s, gold medalist swimmers and TV personalities. Adam has traveled all over the state speaking at Torch Run Kick-Off ceremonies, Special Olympics events, police academies and public gatherings spreading the word about the life-changing benefits of Special Olympics and the many opportunities provided to him and his fellow athletes. He has done so with style, poise and his ever-present smile. Adam has traveled with the Maryland Torch Run Program to numerous regional and international conferences – always as a full member of our Team. Adam is very comfortable in a crowd, meeting and engaging athletes and officers from around the world. He is an articulate spokesman for our Team and his fellow athletes.
This article was written by Special Olympics Maryland