"I'm really excited," Rumsey said. "I'm just thrilled to be getting a chance to do this."
Rumsey was nominated to the contest, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company, by her sister-in-law, Diane Rumsey. According to a statement issued by Tracy Goebel, publicist for Highland Local Schools, Diane said Lynne deserved the honor because she inspires others with her determination, her weight loss efforts, and her professional achievements.
"I had no idea that she even nominated me. She mentioned it to my daughter a few months after she did it in May, and in October I got a letter congratulating me on being nominated," Rumsey said. "But I didn't hear anything else after that so I just assumed I hadn't been chosen. Then on Dec. 17 I came home and there was a package at my house that had my uniform in it and telling me where and when I would be running."
Goebel said that although 11,500 torchbearers were chosen nationwide, only 2,000 torch support runners were chosen. The support runners are called "Guardians of the Flame," she said, because they escort the torchbearers and help guide the torch relay.
Other Portage County residents will also play a role in the passing of the torch while it is here in Ohio.
Among those residents listed as torchbearers on the official Salt Lake City Olympic Website are Randall Cornette of Mantua, Dan Earley of Hiram, Sarah Earle of Ravenna, Johnathan Long of Atwater, Christopher Marhofer of Streetsboro, Eileen Mohr of Kent, Rachel Salzer of Ravenna and Jason Stanley of Diamond.
The 2002 Olympic Torch Relay was kicked off by cyclist Lance Armstrong on Dec. 4 in Atlanta, Ga., and will travel through 125 cities in 46 states _ a distance of more than 13,500 miles _ before arriving in Salt Lake City on Feb. 8 for the start of the Winter Olympic Games.
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