12.06.04 – World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko and his younger brother, Wladimir, a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight titleholder, will take part in the first worldwide Olympic Games torch relay. Vitali will serve as a torch carrier in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 16, at Dodger Stadium, while Wladimir will run in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 5.
“This is a tremendous honor for my brother and me,” Vitali said.
“We feel privileged to be chosen,’’ said Wladimir, a 1996 Olympic Games boxing Gold Medalist.
The torch is scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport from Mexico at 5 a.m. PT Wednesday, June 16.
Los Angeles is the first of four U.S. cities that will host the torch relay. From L.A., the torch will go to Atlanta, St. Louis and New York before continuing its journey across the globe to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
The theme for the torch relay, which will feature 3,600 runners, is “Pass the Flame, Unite the World.’’
There will be a kickoff celebration in Venice Beach (1800 Ocean Front Walk) at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16. Actor Sylvester Stallone will begin the L.A. portion of a route that begins in Venice Beach and concludes at Dodger Stadium at 6 p.m. before the Dodgers-Baltimore Orioles game.
Award-winning film star Tom Cruise will carry the Olympic Flame into Dodger Stadium where he will hand it to Olympic Games Gold-Medal winning swimmer, Janet Evans. Evans will turn it over to Vitali Klitschko, who will give it to Rafer Johnson. Johnson, the final runner inside Dodger Stadium, will light the caldron.
Olympic Games highlights will be shown on DiamondVision during the run inside Dodger Stadium, which will be followed by the national anthem and the baseball game. For those who would like to attend the festivities, please fax your credential request to Dodger Stadium (323) 224-1459
There will be a press conference to announce the Olympic torch route and list of Los Angeles torchbearers on Monday, June 14, at 9 a.m. at First Street Steps, City Hall (200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles). No credential is required.
For information on the United States Olympic Committee, please contact: USOC Media and Public Relations Division at (719) 866-4529 or by accessing their website at www.usocpressbox.org.