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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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For the week of Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2002

  Features

Olympic flame rolls through

Twin torch running draws big crowd


By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer

Tens of thousands of spectators lined the route of the Olympic Torch running Saturday morning in Twin Falls, and a wave of patriotic mayhem trailed the flame through the Southern Idaho City.

Ketchum residents Rod Tatsuno and Dick Fosbury represented the Wood River Valley as torch bearers in the event on day 52 of the torchís 65-day journey to Salt Lake City.

Tatsuno spent most of the first three years of his life in Utah as a prisoner in the Topaz detention camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. Fosbury won an Olympic gold medal in high jumping in Mexico City in 1968 and became famous as the originator of the "Fosbury Flop," a technique that revolutionized the sport and involves jumping with oneís back to the bar.

The torch celebration in Twin Falls followed events in Boise Friday and it continued on to Pocatello and Idaho Falls Saturday.

Event organizers estimated that up to 30,000 people lined the parade route in Twin Falls.

"It felt really good, especially after," Tatsuno said. "People were waving American flags. That was kind of touching."

Tatsuno, who ran with the names of Blaine County school children around his neck, said he signed autographs for children and had his photo taken after running the torch.

"It was an emotional experience," he said.

"Itís kind of a dream that I never really imagined before," Fosbury said. "The closest thing that I can compare it to was when I came home from the Olympics and had a parade in my honor. I really felt a buzz from all the people who were there cheering. It was very emotional, very happy."

Fosbury and Tatsuno were two of 223 Idahoans who carried the flame. Last week, Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson entered all of those names in the congressional record.

"While the world will see record setting athletes in Salt Lake City, every day Americans have been carrying the Olympic spirit across the United States," Simpson told his fellow members of Congress.

"The torch carriers are everyday Idahoans who make Idaho a great place to live. They are mothers, fathers, business owners, school children, Boy Scouts, cancer survivors, volunteers and good Samaritans."

 


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.