Residents can still carry Olympic torch |

Residents can still carry Olympic torch

Susan Wood

You can keep company with Lance Armstrong.

The cyclist and cancer-survivor extraordinaire who won the Tour de France twice will carry the torch for the 2002 Games on its 46-state, 65-day journey next year. And, he nominated his mother for her inspiration in his life.

Prospective torchbearers and those who love them have less than a month to apply for the rewarding Olympic relay job.

All it takes is an inspiring letter saying why the nominee should carry the torch.

“It was and still is one of the best and most memorable moments of my life. To be a part of such history was absolutely fantastic. I still bring out my torch to show friends and family,” said Paul Middlebrook of South Lake Tahoe, who carried the torch in 1984 when the Games were in Los Angeles. “It changed the way I watch the Olympics, forever. I always think of that day as one of the brightest spots in my life next to my marriage and the birth of my children.”

Forty South Lake Tahoe residents will be selected this year from three panels to carry the torch two-tenths of a mile through town, when it makes its way to the South Shore Jan. 20 from 1960 host Squaw Valley.

Applications may be obtained from Chevrolet’s 4,300 dealerships or online at, or Chevy and Coke are major sponsors for the event.

Out of the eligible entries received by May 7, torchbearers will be announced by September. There is no charge to run.

Torchbearers will make up people from all walks of life. Here’s a hint: those people who inspire others every day are urged to apply.

The 13,500-mile route will be ignited by the sun’s rays in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics and the host city for the 2004 Games.

The 2002 Games marks the first time the flame will cross Alaskan soil.

While the torch is on the South Shore, organizers hope it will spark an overnight party of major proportions.

Armstrong is featured on a Coca-Cola commercial carrying the torch through Christmas Valley.

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