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Navajo Nation to carry torch

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When the The Olympic torch finally begins working its way through Utah, it will make a brief detour into another nation, The Navajo Nation.

Among the torch-runners there will be a young woman who once took a detour of her own, into the white man's world, and then proudly circled back to the reservation.

News Specialist John Hollenhorst has the story from Monument Valley.

When Rosie Dayzie goes for a routine bit of jogging, her route might make her the envy of every runner in the world.

"I always dreamed of showcasing Monument Valley or the Navajo Nation. I think Monument Valley is the most beautiful place there is," Dayzie said.

She'll have her chance early next month, when the eyes of the world may be on Monument Valley. Rosie is eager to run with the torch on behalf of her Navajo people.

"I think it's also important to show the world that we have a group of people that have unique culture here," she said.

There was a time when Navajos felt they had to leave that culture to make a better life. Rosie's family lived in a mud hogan when she was born.

"My father said he wanted us to go to school off the reservation, and he felt there was more opportunity for us," Dayzie said.

She went to high school in Richfield, college in St. George and Salt Lake. And then ultimately came back to the reservation.

She now works in the development office of the Shonto Preperatory School, arranging grants, writing reports. The Navajo school nominated her to carry the Olympic torch.

"Because to us, she's a perfect role-model of a young Navajo woman," said Nancy Maryboy of the Navajo Nation. "Sshe's athletic, she's smart, she has a lot of integrity, the kids love her."

Dayzie said, "I just felt it was important to get involved with something that is global. We're always telling our students, you gotta have a global awarenes. This is a way of showing our culture, our land, and that we're very proud."

Details of the torch relay celebration are being kept secret. But the Navajos are convinced it will bring national attention to their spectacular ancestral homeland.

"Most of the Navajo prayers and belief come from being in touch with nature and the land. We call it Mother Earth. We pray to just about every living thing here."

The Olympic torch run may give the world a chance to get in touch with the Navajos land. Even SLOC torch organizers are excited about the stretch that goes through Monument Valley. They say it'll be one of the highlights of the entire torch relay.