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The Day I Carried The Olympic Flame – Brian’s Blog

I have always loved watching the Olympics. I can remember as a child being glued to the TV and as an adult I still find myself glued to them. They have been very close and personal to my heart since a day back in 2002. When the Olympics came to Salt Lake City that year the Olympic flame traveled through Northern Colorado and I had the honor of carrying it down main street in

olympic torch
photo by Brian Gary

Berthoud. It was one of the greatest honors of my life. There I was holding a torch with THE actual Olympic flame burning in my hand. When I thought of all the places that flame had been and the history behind it, I was overwhelmed. Here was this long haired freak of a man carrying such a important piece of history. I am still blown away when I think about it.

All the torch bearers were lined up on main in Berthoud waiting to carry the flame for our 1/6th of a mile. I made it clear I would not be running with the flame but would walk briskly. I scoped the area to see if there was a drive-thru I could hit while I was carrying it. I thought it would be funny to order a burger while carrying the torch but A&W was not in my 1/6th of mile route. I got the flame handed off to me and started my walk. I was surrounded by 2 people whose job it was to walk with the torch bearer. They were just to be beside me while I carried the flame. As I was walking I thought, “I bet these people would love to get to carry it to”, so I let them each carry it for a few steps. Getting to give someone the opportunity to do that was nearly as fulfilling as getting to do it myself.

A few years ago I was asked to bring my torch to a local elementary school so the kids could see a real torch. I brought it in and let all the kids touch it. One young man came up to me when it was his turn to touch it asked me what event I was in. I couldn’t stop laughing. He must not have recognized me from the cross country buffet team. We took the gold that year. I was the anchor eater. USA USA!! Enjoy the games. I will be in my chair holding my torch.

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