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With her back to the podium, Sheila Jack, Deputy Director of the Mayor's Office of Marketing and Communications, offers some last-minute instructions prior to the Torch Relay Press Conference at Atlanta City Hall on 4 October 2001.

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Giving my two-minute "speech" at the Press Conference as Coca-Cola's North Georgia Region Representative in the Torch Relay.

At Jim Ellis Chevrolet in Atlanta on 29 November 2001 -- the first stop on a nationwide promotional tour during which a special Corvette Z06 -- the Torch Relay's Official Pace Vehicle -- was brought to 90 Chevrolet dealerships across the country to be autographed by local sports and media personalities, and later auctioned off on eBay with the proceeds going to the "Make-A-Wish" Foundation. Two metro-Atlanta signers who I was asked to invite are pictured here. On my left is Jeff Tucker, Member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Luge Team and 12th-Place Finisher in the Singles, and on my right is Dwight Bell, Former President of USA Luge and Chef de Mission of the 2002 U.S. Olympic Team.

In front of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- just after it had been autographed -- with 3 of the 7 signers. From left to right is myself, Johnny O'Connell, Member of Chevrolet's Four-Man Team which won the 2001 "24 Hours of Lemans", Cindy Parlow, Member of the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Teams which won a gold and silver medal, respectively, and Member of the 2001 "Atlanta Beat" of the WUSA (Women's United Soccer Association), an unidentified Chevrolet torchbearer, Olga Korbut, Member of the 1972 and 1976 Soviet Olympic Gymnastic Teams and Winner of 1 silver and 3 gold medals, and 1 silver and 1 gold medal, respectively, and Doug McIntyre, General Manager, Jim Ellis Chevrolet.

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With CNN Center looming in the background, some of the estimated 5,000 people who attended the Olympic flame's arrival celebration in Centennial Olympic Park on the morning of 4 December 2001.

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While SLOC President Mitt Romney applauds, Muhammad Ali (Rome '60 - Boxing) prepares to pass the first Olympic torch on U.S. soil to fellow gold medalists Peggy Fleming (Grenoble '68 - Figure Skating) and her long-time coach and mentor,
Bob Paul (Squaw Valley '60 - Figure Skating).

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Showing some patriotism in front of the Torchbearer Shuttle Bus at The Varsity -- the venerable Atlanta drive-in restaurant which served as my "collection" point -- prior to embarking for the Torch Relay.

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With some of my fellow Torchbearers at The Varsity.

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My "official" Kodak photo -- taken just moments after I began the most memorable run of my life!

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Flanked by motorcyle escorts and with large, enthusiastic crowds cheering me on, I head north on Peachtree Street in Atlanta just before 12:30 p.m. on 4 December 2001 -- the Torch Relay's first day in the United States.

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Outside of my rental apartment on 5 December 2001 with my mother, Gladys, and father, Dr. Victor Perlow, proudly holding the Olympic Torch I carried the previous day.