Seven locals to carry Olympic torch |

Seven locals to carry Olympic torch

Lara Mullin, Sierra Sun

The last time the Olympic flame burned in the United States was during the 1996 Atlanta summer games. In December the torch will once again burn in Atlanta for the first leg of a 65-day tour of American cities on the way to Salt Lake City.

Passing through the Tahoe region on Jan. 20 and 21, the torch will be carried by more than 35 residents from Truckee, Tahoe City, Incline Village and the surrounding area.

Seven Truckee residents will represent the U.S. as they cover two-tenths of a mile along the torch route, wearing an Olympic warm-up suit: Tyler Buschmann, Ronald Kato, Bob Horvath, Dana and Jeff Hunting, Patty Robbins and Tammie Thompson.

Tyler Buschmann, a former Tahoe-Truckee High School student, skateboarded across the country last year from San Francisco to New York City. His trip earned him national recognition.

Retired U.S. Marine and former air traffic controller Ronald Kato was nominated by the Truckee-Tahoe Civil Air Patrol cadets, a youth program he started in Truckee last year.

Bob Horvath will carry the torch for his participation with Angel Flights, a service for non-ambulatory patients and Flying Doctors, a humanitarian program that services the poor in Mexican communities. Horvath is an engineer in Truckee and recreational pilot.

Dana and Jeff Hunting are the only couple from the Truckee area to be selected to carry the torch. Jeff will hand off the torch to his wife, his source of steadfast support after a massive stroke and brain surgery in 2000 left Jeff clinging to life.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime honor. We both realize how precious life is now and are so excited to participate in the Olympics,” said Hunting.

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