Coca-Cola Announces Names of Six U.S. Torchbearers for Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay

Torchbearers Selected for Their Dedication to Active Living and Wellbeing


A passionate commitment to wellbeing has earned six U.S. residents the opportunity to serve as torchbearers in the upcoming Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay. These exceptional individuals will serve as Coca-Cola "Ambassadors of Active Living" as they experience the honor of carrying the Olympic Flame.

Based on their dedication to living and promoting active lifestyles to make a positive, sustainable difference in their local communities, Coca-Cola selected these six special torchbearers from more than 1,000 nominations from across the country. The Coca-Cola "Ambassadors of Active Living" will participate in the San Francisco leg of the Relay on April 9, the only U.S. stop of the five-month global event.

Making A Difference Locally

The six Coca-Cola torchbearers and their active living platforms are:

    --  Bonnie Bobbit (Fayetteville, Ga.) - a cycling enthusiast who
        has spent the past eight years advocating for government
        funding to increase bicycle safety and awareness for the
        metro-Atlanta region.

    --  Eric Burke (Pasadena, Calif.) - a middle-school teacher who
        established and coaches "Students Run LA," a program that
        encourages students at his school to train for and compete in
        the Los Angeles Marathon.

    --  James Dolan (Pompano Beach, Fla.) - a retired New York City
        police officer who served as sports director for the
        department's Police Athletic League, a non-profit youth
        organization that encourages active lifestyles through sports
        and recreation.

    --  Danielle Dorfman (Miami, Fla.) - founder of "Running Friends
        Forever," an organization that links runners and groups of
        runners with less fortunate individuals who desire to train,
        race, and compete in running-related sports.

    --  Sondra Galperin (Coral Gables, Fla.) - a Red Cross volunteer
        who has taught more than 1,000 children life-saving swimming
        skills; educated more than 30 volunteers as swimming
        instructors; and developed the teaching curriculum used at
        Venetian Pool for the past 20 years.

    --  Andrea Vincent (Fairfax, Va.) - founder of, a
        non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and
        well-being of mothers and children by providing easy access to
        family-friendly fitness groups.

"We chose these six special people to represent Coca-Cola in the Olympic Torch Relay as 'Ambassadors of Active Living' because they personify the 'Coke Side of Life' and what it means to make the world a little better every day," said Hendrik Steckhan, president, Sparkling Beverages, Coca-Cola North America. "As a long-time supporter of programs that encourage and promote active living in local communities we hope the passion and dedication of these torchbearers will inspire others to embrace wellbeing."

All eligible entries submitted through the Coca-Cola nomination program were reviewed by a panel of judges; torchbearer selections were based on how well the candidates demonstrated their active lifestyles through leadership, the impact of each nominee's activities on the community and sustainable results.

"Through the Olympic Torch Relay Coca-Cola is helping to share the Olympic spirit embodied by the thousands of torchbearers who will carry the Flame as a symbol of inspiration and unity," concluded Steckhan.

About the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay Presented by Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lenovo will cover the longest distance of any Olympic Torch Relay, spanning about 85,000 miles. The relay begins with the lighting of the Flame in Olympia, Greece, on March 24. After its arrival in Beijing on March 31, the Flame will begin its journey on April 1, traveling to 21 international cities, including San Francisco on April 9 - the only U.S. stop on the Relay - before returning to mainland China. Having been carried by more than 21,000 runners, the Flame will enter the Olympic Stadium as part of the Opening Ceremony of the XXIX Olympiad on August 8. The theme of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay is "Journey of Harmony."

About Coca-Cola and the Olympic Movement

The Coca-Cola Company has been an Olympic partner since 1928 - almost 80 years - and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement. The Company works with National Olympic Committees in more than 200 countries to help athletes train and compete. More than 90 percent of the Coca-Cola system's investment in the Olympic Games is directed to athlete development and to assist in staging the Games. Products of The Coca-Cola Company refresh athletes, volunteers, officials and spectators during the Olympic Games and supporting programs such as the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay allows Coca-Cola to help share the Olympic spirit around the world. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive nonalcoholic beverage partner to the Olympic Games through 2020.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.4 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at

Source: The Coca-Cola Company