ND ushers Olympic Torch on road to Utah

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini

p. Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, added yet another accomplishment to his distinguished life’s work Friday (Jan.4) when he carried the Olympic torchas it crossed the Notre Dame campus en route to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.p. The torch relay began its tour through the South Bend area shortly after 9 a.m. at the intersection ofDouglas and Juniper Roads, traveling south on Juniper onto the Notre Dame campus. Hundreds of campus workers and area residents endured 20-degree temperatures and cutting winds to watch the torch pass.p. Father Hesburgh, 84, was handed the torch around 9:15 a.m. in front of the statue of formerNotre Dame football coach Frank Leahy on the east side of Notre Dame stadium. He carried it for the customary 0.2 miles, intermittently jogging and walking.p. Somewhat up the road was Notre Dame volleyball coach Debbie Brown, who carried the torch from near the corner of Juniper and Eddy Streets south of Notre Dame stadium. Brown was cheered by another Notre Dame contingent of friends, family and members of the Athletic Department. Named an “All-Time Great Volleyball Player” by USA Volleyball in 1995, Brown was cocaptain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic volleyball team.p. Mickey Franco, a staff psychologist in the University Counseling Center, as well as several Notre Dame alumni also carried the flame through South Bend.p. The Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Torch Relay is to visit 46 states on its 13,500-mile journey from Atlanta,making two major stops each day for local community celebrations. The torch is scheduled to arrive in SaltLake City Feb. 2, two days before the opening of the Olympic Games.One of the 20th century’s leading figures in higher education, public service and the Catholic Church, FatherHesburgh served as Notre Dame’s president from 1953-87, leading the University to a place among thenation’s top 20 institutions of higher education.Highlighting a lengthy list of awards to Father Hesburgh are the Congressional Gold Medal, the highesthonor awarded by Congress, which was presented to him in 2000, and the Medal of Freedom, the nation’shighest civilian honor, bestowed on him in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson. He is the recipient of 146honorary degrees, the most ever bestowed on one person, according to the Guinness Book of WorldRecords.

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