Torchbearers are briefed before being transported to their starting points.
Multisports.com athlete carries the Olympic Flame in San Diego.Multisports.com age group athlete Cathy Blomgren carried the Olympic flame as it came through San Diego on January 14th. The theme for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Torch Relay is "Light the Fire Within". Cathy was nominated by her fellow triathletes, family members and friends for her positive attitude and inspiring comeback from a terrible cycling accident 2 years ago. She was selected by the Relay committee to be one of more than 11,000 torchbearers across the USA.
Cathy and her training partner Lisa were struck from behind in the bike lane by a distracted driver in an SUV, and she suffered severe
injuries. After many months of rehab and physical therapy she returned to triathlon, finishing half Ironman races at Wildflower and Vineman in 2001, but she was diagnosed with a hip fracture after Vineman which required surgery and another extended rehab. She worked hard to return to health and get ready to carry the flame.
Cathy accepted the Olympic Flame from fellow Torchbearer Mike Barna for her run through Old Town. She then handed off to Nicholas Higgins at the flagpole in Old Town Plaza. Also carrying the torch in San Diego on Monday was 3 time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. Cathy had hoped to meet Lance but security was tight and the other torchbearers and spectators could only watch and cheer as he ran the last leg into Embarcadero Park.
She said her biggest fear besides dropping the torch or tripping was that Huddle would make an appearance with his SuperSoaker, but decorum ruled the day and no incidents were reported. She described the experience as thrilling, and a great honor, especially being able to meet some of the other torchbearers, each with a story more inspiring than the last. The enthusiasm of the large patriotic crowd in Old Town carried on after the flame passed through as many people came up to view the torch and take photos. After the crowd of spectators thinned out Cathy was able to share a few moments with all her friends and family and put a happy exclamation point on a very difficult chapter in her multisport career.