Support runners are 'Guardians of the Flame'

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Although the white-suited torchbearers will carry the Olympic flame through Juneau on Jan. 24, there will be another group of runners in the Olympic Torch Relay.

The blue-suited support runners are known as the "Guardians of the Flame," and their job is to assist the torchbearers during each torchbearer's 0.2-mile run.

The support runners are allowed to help the torchbearers if the torch becomes too heavy, but for the most part the support runners will offer encouragement as the torchbearers run their route. A support runner may run as far as a mile, helping up to five torchbearers during the day.

So far there are 16 support runners slated for the Olympic Torch Relay's Juneau visit.

Nine of the support runners are students at Juneau-Douglas High School, Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School and Floyd Dryden Middle School, with each school asked to nominate three support runners. The student support runners are Gretchen Dierking, Tyler Dinnan, Jordan Moser, Paige Pahlke, Judson Quincy, Jordan Harvey, Emily Krehlik, Annie Fox and Alan Floresca, all of Juneau.

The other seven support runners were chosen by Powerade, a subsidiary of Olympic Torch Relay sponsor Coca-Cola. The support runners listed on its Web site are Sarah Key of North Pole, Sean Livingston of Anchorage, James Milliman of Anchorage, David Mitchell of Juneau, Jeffrey Moses of Elmendorf Air Force Base, Tony Olivera of Wasilla and Flegont Reutov of Homer.

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