TBT: Dan & Shelby and the Olympic Torch in Mobile

Happy Olympics from Shelby! Sadly, neither Dan nor I can remember many details about this event except that it was a big deal! 

To celebrate the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the official Olympic torch made it's way through several cities, including Mobile. Past athletes and dignitaries carried the torch for different lengths of the relay. 

Dan and I had the honor of being selected to ride in the lead vehicle or float with the sponsor to pump up the crowd for whatever dignitary was carrying the flame. There was an announcer with us from the official Olympic Board (I think) and they had some kind of official "Torch" song that was playing to hype the crowd. We all were on the mic and had to yell "TORCH, TORCH" at certain times during the song! 

It was fun but I wish we could tell you more. I don't know why I don't have more pictures! This one was just one my dad had for some reason. The interwebs were new-ish back then so there's not much documented, but this is pretty cool basic info about the torch from Olympic.org: 

"To promote the Games among the largest number of people possible in the United States,  the relay passed through over 300 towns and villages in 46 states. The route included the previous Games host cities, Atlanta, Lake Placid, St Louis, Los Angeles and Squaw Valley.

On 4 December 2001, after leaving Athens the previous day, the flame landed in Atlanta. At the Centennial Olympic Park, Muhammad Ali, who lit the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, lit the first torch on American soil. The former boxer then handed it to Peggy Fleming, the figure skating Olympic gold medallist at Grenoble in 1968. She ran the first leg of the relay with her coach Robert Paul, who had won the figure skating gold medal at the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley.

On 8 February 2002, at the Opening Ceremony, for the first time in Olympic history, an entire team, the winning US men’s ice hockey team from the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, lit the Olympic cauldron."


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