Oakland Tribune - Crowd's fervor greets torch
Crowd's fervor greets torch
Oakland, Calif./Jan. 19, 2002 - FLAG-WAVING CROWDS, swept up in a swell of patriotism and pride, flocked to Oakland on Friday to see the Olympic torch as it made a three-hour loop through the city. They gathered in front of schools and nursing homes, beauty salons and bars, chanting "U.S.A.," and spurring on the dozens of torchbearers whose smiles nearly outshone the flame they held in their hands
...On Telegraph Avenue, Hollywood director and choreographer Kenny Ortega was also swept up in the Olympic spirit. The Redwood City native said carrying the torch was an "amazing honor," one that he didn't want to miss even though he is producing and directing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Salt Lake City Olympics...Ortega said he felt only a sense of great pride as he ran his route from 43rd to 40th streets. "I saw smiling faces," he said of the people on the sidewalk. "That was a pretty great moment."
...It was also a pretty great moment for the thousands who could only watch the flame pass by. At Frank Ogawa Plaza, there was much red-white-and-blue bunting and many balloons, and appropriately noble music with lots of inspiring trumpet flourishes. The flame arrived from San Jose at about 1:30 p.m. in an open cauldron loaded onto a truck. After touring Oakland, the flame boarded a two-masted schooner at Jack London Square for a 90-minute Bay cruise to San Francisco. Today, the Torch Relay will continue its journey through Marin County on its way to Sacramento and east toward Salt Lake City...Excerpt from the Oakland Tribune