|Centre student to be Olympic torchbearer
RELEASED: November 29, 2001
DANVILLE, KYJennifer Riggs' father was there for her when she played soccer as a little girl. Years later, she decided to show her appreciation by nominating her father to carry the Olympic torch.
And not only was her father, Richard, chosen to carry the torch, the nominating committee liked her essay so much that they invited Jennifer to carry the torch as well.
On Dec. 17 at 11:15 a.m., the first of 45 Central Kentuckians will line up to start the 12-mile stretch of the relay that passes through Lexington. There will be 11,500 Americans carrying the torch in the national event. The Olympic Torch Relay will begin in Atlanta Dec. 4 and run through 46 states before ending in Salt Lake City (host for the 2002 Winter Olympics) Feb. 8.
Richard Riggs, an avid runner, has been slowed in recent years by arthritis. Jennifer Riggs and her mother, Jane, came up with the idea to nominate him.
"It was an opportunity to give something back to him," said Jennifer Riggs, a junior art history major from Lexington and an all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference soccer player this past season. "It gives him a chance to do something he loves and be part of something special."
Richard Riggs received notice this summer he had been chosen. Weeks later, Jennifer Riggs found out she'd also be carrying the torch.
"We were both shocked," Jennifer Riggs said. "He was totally surprised. He had no idea. He had mentioned previously that he would enjoy carrying the torch, so this is great."
- end -
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422