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Olympic torch to return in 2002

TIM BOWMAN, Sun News Service

The Olympic Torch for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City will visit Olympic Valley, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and South Lake Tahoe on its 13,500 mile journey around the United States. The torch is scheduled to pass through Olympic Valley Jan. 20, 2002.

The Salt Lake Olympic Committee hopes to add to the tradition of the Olympic Torch Relay in the United States, by visiting all of the nation’s previous host sites, or Olympic Sister Cities, of the Olympic Games.

“In the past (the Olympic Torch) has visited some Olympic Sister Cities. This is the first time in the United States Olympic history that it has visited all of the Sister Cities,” said Salt Lake Olympic Committee Director of the 2002 Torch Relay, Gillian Hamburger.

“Each city that is awarded the Olympic Games’ organization committee sets its own relay. It was important to the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for the flame to visit all the Sister Cities.”

The torch for the 2002 Games will make its trek over the course of 65 days. A number of unique modes of transportation will be used in its journey, such as snowmobiles, horse-drawn sleighs, dog sled, skier and ice skaters, in addition to traditional running torchbearers. More than 11,500 torchbearers will be used in the relay. The criteria for the honor of carrying the Olympic torch will be announced early next year, and all are encouraged to petition.

The news of the flame’s return to Lake Tahoe was received with great enthusiasm at Squaw Valley USA.

“We’re delighted,” said Squaw’s Director of Public Relations Katja Dahl. “The Olympic heritage in this area has been a significant part of how the resort has developed.”


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