16 January 2002
The Olympic torch arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday on its long route to the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. More than 100 people carried the torch in a relay through the city.
The torch began its journey in Olympia, Greece, November 19. By the time it arrives in Salt Lake City February 8, more than 11,000 runners will have carried the flame. Those in Los Angeles include basketball great Magic Johnson and movie action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. They also include a teenaged girl honored for her work in tutoring young students.
Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn joined a downtown crowd to cheer them on. Mr. Hahn said, "I think we're really excited about the fact that we are an Olympic city, twice already. We love the Olympics. We certainly love to see the torch here. We want to cheer on our local heroes who are carrying the torch."
Others who carried the torch in the Los Angeles relay are honoring loved ones who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11.
Tom Frost carried the flame to honor his daughter. Twenty-two-year old Lisa Frost was on board one the airplanes that crashed into New York's World Trade Center. Her father says the torch-relay run was exhilarating. "It was wonderful," he said. "The crowds were great. The bus ride over here was nothing short of incredible with everyone telling their stories."
By the time it reaches Salt Lake City to open the winter games, the Olympic torch will have traveled nearly 22,000 kilometers on a circuitous route across the United States.