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Skier picks mom for torchbearing honor

MURRAY — Former Olympic skier Carrie Sheinberg made the first official nomination for an Olympic torchbearer Thursday morning by nominating the biggest inspiration in her life — her mother.

In a press conference at the Smith's store on 4500 S. and 800 East, the former Olympian nominated Jill Sheinberg.

"My mother has been an inspiration to me throughout my life. She always encouraged me to go after my dreams," she said.

Sheinberg also said she never realized how hard her mother had to work to rear three children and also find time for law school.

"She taught me that the whole is really greater than the sum of the parts."

Jill Sheinberg said her daughter asked her permission to make the nomination.

"I could say the reverse. She's my role model," the mother said of her daughter.

Jill Sheinberg said she'd be thrilled to carry the torch anywhere in the county, even if she has to fly somewhere to do it.

Carrie Sheinberg, her mother and father live in Park City. She placed 18th in the 1994 Olympic Slalom, though she was shut out of the 1998 Olympics. She'll only be participating in the 2002 Olympics as a journalist and a fan.

Some 11,500 people nation-wide will carry the torch, each going about 0.2 miles. Torch-carrying will begin its U.S. journey on Dec. 4 in Atlanta, going through 46 states — an average of 208 miles per day —or 13,500 total miles — the longest-ever torch relay in the U.S.

It is scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City on Feb. 8. Some torch-carriers will be VIPs, Olympians or leaders. However, the rest will be selected through a nomination process like that held Thursday, intended to identify inspirational individuals.

That's the theme of the nomination process — inspiration, someone who inspires others.

Torchbearers will be announced in August and September.

Thursday's event was the official kickoff call for nominations through Coca-Cola's sponsorship for the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Coca-Cola and Chevrolet are each choosing one-third of the torch carriers. Coca-Cola and Chevrolet will select their quota through a random process of those who have qualified by submitting an essay. SLOC also may use a random process.

People can either nominate themselves or others who have inspired them. However, a 50- to 100-word essay must be written telling why the nominee is an inspiration to other people.

There are many ways to file a nomination by May 7: Entry forms are available nationwide at Coca-Cola retailers, including participating Smith's stores or 7-Eleven stores, between now and April 30. You can also visit a Chevrolet dealer or obtain a form from SLOC. Nominations will also be taken on-line at ( www.coca-cola.com), or at ( www.saltlake2002.com), or ( www.chevy.com) until May 7.

Those nominated must be 12 years of age or older through the SLOC or Coca-Cola routes, and at least age 16 to enter through Chevrolet.


E-MAIL: lynn@desnews.com