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TWO LOS ANGELES STUDENTS SELECTED FOR HISTORY-MAKING TORCHBEARERS PROGRAM AT WINTER OLYMPICS

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The final two U.S. selections for the history-making International Olympic Torchbearers Program sponsored by The Coca-Cola Co. were announced this morning in downtown Los Angeles.
 Los Angeles high school athletes Genevieve DeBose, 16, and Humberto Sanchez, 18, have been chosen to join three other U.S. participants in the Norwegian Torch Relay on Feb. 5 in Oslo, Norway. The announcement was made by Robert W. Phillips, vice president/public affairs for Coca- Cola Enterprises, and Superintendent Sid Thompson of the L.A. Unified School District at a brief ceremony held outside the L.A. Board of Education administrative offices.
 The International Olympic Torchbearers Program marks the first time in the history of the Winter Games that runners from outside the host country will participate in this Olympic tradition. Thirty participants from 13 countries, including the five U.S. torchbearers, were chosen to carry the flame through selection programs sponsored by The Coca-Cola Co.
 Along with DeBose and Sanchez, the other three U.S. representatives are high school cross-country runners Jason Murphy and Linda Lisska and U.S. Paralympian Tim Willis, a world-class blind distance runner. All three are from Atlanta.
 DeBose and Sanchez were selected for their outstanding achievements in track and field. Los Angeles resident DeBose is the winner of the 1993 Los Angeles City Section Cross-Country Meet (women's division) and is the 1993 captain of her local Varsity Girls cross-country and soccer teams. She attends Hamilton High Schools Complex. Sanchez, in his first year of running in cross-country meets, was the 1993 runner-up in the Los Angeles City Section Cross-Country Meet (men's division) and placed eleventh in the state championships. A resident of South Gate, Calif., Sanchez attends South Gate High School.
 The U.S. runners are part of a 7,000-member Norwegian team relaying the torch over 8,000 kilometers in 75 days. The relay began Nov. 27 and culminates Feb. 12 with the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Leslie Reed or Helen Torres, 213-386-8776; or Mary Butin, The Coca-Cola Co., 404-676-5775/


CO: The Coca-Cola Co.; 1994 Olympic Winter Games ST: California IN: SU:

JP-LS -- LA005 -- 1113 01/13/94 13:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 13, 1994
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