Thursday, October 29, 2009

Coca-Cola Honors 20 Inspiring People as U.S. Torchbearers for Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Kudos to the following Georgia residents for being selected as torchbearers:

Crystal Hardy, 20 (Dublin, GA): Crystal co-founded Green Teens, a
local recycling program for PET1 bottles that donates the proceeds to
local schools.
Taylor LeBaron, 17 (Ball Ground, GA): Taylor authored a book entitled,
"Cutting Myself in Half," about his personal weight loss journey and
how he reduced his weight from 297 lbs. to 145 lbs., using a
self-developed, teen-oriented fitness program.
Liz Burns, Senior National Sales Executive, Coca-Cola North America
(Atlanta, GA): As incoming president of the board of directors for the
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Georgia Chapter, Liz chairs one of the
largest fundraising events, Chocolate, which has helped raise more
than $500,000 for cystic fibrosis research. She also mentors a local
family through Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Jed Selkowitz, Director of Entertainment Marketing, Coca-Cola North
America (Atlanta, GA): Jed is dedicated to raising awareness of lupus.
Through his work as a Board Member of the Georgia chapter of the Lupus
Foundation of America, he has helped raise more than $600,000 to
support lupus awareness, advocacy and research.

/PRNewswire/ -- Coca-Cola has chosen 20 inspiring people to be Torchbearers for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. The U.S. Torchbearers were selected because they each use their passion for positive living to affect meaningful, enduring changes in local and global communities.

The Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame through Calgary, Canada, on January 18-19, 2010 as it makes its way to Vancouver and the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 12, 2010. The Olympic Torch Relay, presented in part by Coca-Cola, will last for 106 days, cover more than 27,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) and link together more than 1,000 communities and places of interest throughout Canada.

Torchbearers were selected because of their commitments to sustainably promoting three aspects of positive living, including:

Balanced Living - staying active and physically fit while having fun with family and friends

Community - working to make good things happen for people throughout the community

Recycling - helping the planet by recycling or donating time to a recycling program in the community or school

Among those chosen to carry the Flame are 10 teens, five leaders from national health organizations, three Coca-Cola North America employees and Olympic gold medalists Shawn Johnson and Steven Lopez, who are part of the Coca-Cola "Six Pack" of Olympic athletes and competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. People can view the Torchbearers' route and learn more about their personal stories by visiting

"These inspirational people have shown remarkable dedication in encouraging others and making a positive difference in so many lives, traits that Coca-Cola has long embraced. Coca-Cola is saluting these champions of positive living by recognizing them with the special opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame," said Celeste Bottorff, Vice President of Living Well, Coca-Cola North America.

"I'm so impressed by the positive and diverse influence my fellow Torchbearers have had in communities across America," said Steven Lopez. "It is going to be an honor to pass the Flame to one of these inspirational individuals and celebrate the importance of wellbeing, community, unity and the Olympic Spirit."

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