Pleasanton Runner to Carry Olympic Torch

"This is so exciting," Kim Daniel says. "I can do something for history, my country, and my town."

The 18-year-old Cal Berkeley freshman certainly has cause for celebration. Kim will have the honor of carrying the Olympic flame as an official runner in the 1984 Summer Olympic Torch Relay.

The relay will start in New York on May 8 and wind over 12,000 miles throughout the United States. Some 10,000 runners are expected to carry the torch which will pass near or through San Francisco before continuing down south to Los Angeles. The torch will complete its journey for the games of the XXIII Olympiad on July 28, just in time for the opening ceremonies.

Because of her involvement in high school sports, Kim received a brochure asking if she would like to carry the torch in the relay - provided she could come up with a sponsor. For the first time this year, the Olympic relay is being organized as a sponsorship program which will enable businesses, communities and/or groups to "sponsor" a runner at $3,000 per kilometer. All monies raised in the "Legacy for Youth'' run will be used to promote and expand amateur sports training in the U.S. through contributions to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and family YMCA organizations throughout the country.

Kim, a lifelong resident of Pleasanton, wanted her town to be represented in the torch relay, so she set about trying to find a sponsor.

"I wanted a sponsor that really represented the city," she says, "something that people would really associate with Pleasanton."

When Kim contacted Hacienda Business Park, they proudly agreed to become the sponsor for her leg of the relay. The Hacienda contribution for Kim's one kilometer run will be donated to the new Tri-Valley YMCA on Neal Street in Pleasanton.

Kim started running when on the track team at Amador Valley High School from which she graduated in 1983. Kim now attends the University of California at Berkeley, where she's majoring in business. Kim won't be competing in college track, however, because, as she's the first to point out, "Running is just an extra-curricular activity for me. I wouldn't say I'm an expert runner or anything."

The Olympic relay requires that the runner be capable of completing one kilometer (approximately 6/10 of a mile) in less than seven minutes. Kim says that's no problem for her. She usually runs about two miles, twice a week, and is very confident of finishing her portion of the course. "My greatest fear," she states with visible distress, "is dropping the torch!" But then she laughs, as her confidence returns.

Kim Daniel is anxiously awaiting her turn to run for Pleasanton and for a little bit of history.

To see a reproduction of the original article and edition of Pleasanton Pathways, visit: April 2, 1984 Pathways.

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