October 5, 2001

Bronco Men's Basketball Manager Receives Olympic Honor

Oct. 5, 2001

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Santa Clara University men's basketball team manager D.J. Frandsen was selected as one of 128 individuals from the Bay Area and 7,200 torchbearers overall selected to carry the Olympic Flame on its 65-day, 13,500-mile journey from Atlanta, Georgia to Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC), Coca-Cola and Chevrolet announced.

Torchbearers were selected from more than 210,000 inspirational nominees. The torch is scheduled to pass through the Bay Area on January 18 or 19, 2002. The Bay Area leg of the journey will include Corte Madera, Larkspur, Marin Co., Mill Valley, Oakland, Piedmont, Richmond, Ross, San Anselmo, San Francisco, San Jose, San Pablo, San Rafael, and Sausalito.

"We believe the Olympic Torch Relay has a deeper sense of meaning after the events of September 11," said Mitt Romney, SLOC president and CEO. "Now more than ever, the Relay will be a celebration of humanity and civilization and all 11,500 torchbearers will represent the best of our nation."

"We will link the Torch Relay to the tragedy by naming 100 Torchbearers to represent the heroes of September 11. In addition, when the Relay goes through New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, we will hold commemorative events."

Torchbearers were nominated by family members, friends or co-workers by writing a 50-100-word essay describing how the nominee embodied the Olympic spirit and inspired an individual or a community. The essays were gathered through SLOC, Coca-Cola and Chevrolet nomination programs during March and April of 2001.

Some of the stories describing how torchbearers overcame enormous challenges were so riveting that the person who submitted the nomination was also selected to run a leg of the relay and will hand-off to their nominee. This is the first time in Olympic Torch Relay history that torchbearers will run in pairs.

"As the flame weaves its way across the nation, it will ignite the Olympic spirit within each of us and inspire us to make the world a better place," said Romney.

The Olympic Flame will be lit during a ceremony in Olympia, Greece before traveling to Atlanta - where the flame last rested on American soil - and starting its cross-country journey through 46 states on December 4, 2001. An average of 180 torchbearers per day will each carry the flame approximately two-tenths of a mile.

"We are thankful to everyone who took the time to tell us their inspirational stories, and we look forward to sharing their stories with the rest of the country," said Sandy Douglas, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Coca-Cola North America. "The opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame and experience the magic of the Games firsthand is our way of honoring the inspirational people who have been selected as 2002 Olympic Torchbearers."

"Chevrolet is honored to share in the inspirational stories of thousands of Americans who were nominated and selected to carry the Olympic Flame," said Kurt Ritter, general manager of Chevrolet. "The Olympic Torch Relay is a unique opportunity to recognize our neighbors, co-workers, family members and everyday Americans who have inspired others and best represent the Olympic Spirit. We look forward to celebrating their achievements on the road to Salt Lake City."

Torchbearers will receive an Olympic Torchbearer uniform consisting of a windbreaker jacket, long sleeve t-shirt, wind pants, fleece hat and gloves. Torchbearers also will be able to purchase the Olympic Torch they carry as a reminder of their involvement in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The purchase price for the torch is $335.

In addition to the 7,200 torchbearers selected, 4,300 torchbearers were selected through programs involving the Olympic family, which includes sponsors, providers, Olympians and other athletes from several U.S. Olympic national governing bodies.

For a complete list of torchbearers, click here.

U.S. Cyclist Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, three-time Tour de France Champion and three time Olympian will serve as Coca-Cola's Olympic Torch Relay team leader. Armstrong will carry the Torch for the first time in his hometown of Austin, Texas and will make several other appearances to support other 2002 Olympic Torchbearers along the route. Armstrong played a key role in Coca-Cola's efforts to encourage nominations. Along with acting as the Coca-Cola spokesperson for the Olympic Torch Relay, he was featured in cinema pre-feature entertainment and in national television, print, radio and online advertising.

Cammi Granato, captain of the Women's USA Hockey Team and Chevrolet torchbearer ambassador, encouraged Americans to capture the spirit of the Olympic dream by nominating someone inspirational through the Chevrolet program. Like Armstrong, Granato will run with the flame during the Relay. Her perseverance in the sport of hockey helped Granato's team win the gold medal for the United States at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, making her a role model for thousands of people. Once the flame reaches Salt Lake City, great Olympians like Granato will be ready to greet the start of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.