I will never forget one of the most emotional moments in my Olympic viewing history. It was 1996, and while I was working the Atlanta Games for NBC, I was not at the opening ceremonies. Rather, I was in my hotel room watching them on TV like 99.9% of the world. Everyone was wondering who the Torchbearers would be, and then our question was answered, it was Janet Evans! I will never forget the moment I saw my teammate from the 1992 Games run out of the tunnel and around the track, proudly, joyfully carrying the Olympic torch. But the moment that took my breath away was watching Janet pass the flame from her torch to that of Muhammad Ali!
The greatest swimmer was passing the torch to "The Greatest of All Time.” My emotions ran away with me in that my, my eyes filled with tears and my entire body was covered in goose bumps. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so proud to be an American and an Olympian!
The Olympic Torch Relay is the journey of the Olympic flame from the home of the Games, Athens, Greece, to the host city, spreading the Olympic Fever along the way. Even Olympians follow the torch's progress, and are emotionally moved by it. Thinking back to my first trip to the Olympics as a spectator, the 1984 Games in L.A., I cannot imagine how it would have felt to have the opportunity to carry that flame. That trip sparked my Olympic dream, and if I had been nominated to run the torch, I would have been…well, words cannot describe how emotional and excited I would have been! This year, a few special teens won’t have to wonder.
But you do have to act fast. Go to www.LivePositively.com and follow the steps to nominate a teen to carry the Olympic torch in London. Eligible teens inspire others to make a positive difference through healthy active living, community involvement, environmental conservation, or motivation. This is a once-an-a-lifetime opportunity like no other, trust me. Just like an Olympian, never former never past, once an Olympic Torchbearer always an Olympic Torchbearer! Click Here to submit your nominations, deadline for entries is Aug. 15, 2011.