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ATHENS 2004

Torch Carriers

August 14, 2004|Associated Press

Carriers of the torch used to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony over the last 20 years:

SALT LAKE CITY, 2002: The 1980 gold-medal winning U.S. hockey team, reunited for the first Winter Games in the United States since their Lake Placid victory.

SYDNEY, Australia, 2000: Olympic runner Cathy Freeman, an aboriginal Australian, who then went on to win the gold medal in the women's 400 meters.

NAGANO, Japan, 1998: Japanese figure skater Midori Ito, lifted on an automatic platform to a selection from Puccini's "Madame Butterfly."

ATLANTA, 1996: Muhammad Ali, shaking from his Parkinson's syndrome, in an emotional Olympic return 36 years after he'd flung his gold medal into a Louisville river.

LILLEHAMMER, Norway, 1994: Understudy Stein Gruben, pressed into duty after an injury to the organizers' first choice, soared off a ski jump with the Olympic flame. He handed it to a Paralympic cross-country skier, who in turn gave it to Norway's Crown Prince Haakon to light the caldron.

BARCELONA, Spain, 1992: Antonio Rebollo, an archer for Spain's Paralympic team, fired a flaming arrow to ignite the caldron.

ALBERTVILLE, France, 1992: French national soccer hero Michel Platini carried the flame into the stadium, then handed off to 8-year-old local schoolboy Francois-Cyrille Grange.

SEOUL, South Korea, 1988: Sohn Kee-Chung, the 1936 marathon gold medalist, passed the flame to three younger athletes in a literal passing of the torch from generation to generation.

CALGARY, Canada, 1988: Robyn Perry, a 12-year-old schoolgirl and aspiring Olympic figure skater, was the first break from the traditional well-known choices.

LOS ANGELES, 1984: Decathlete Rafer Johnson, U.S. gold medalist from Rome in 1960.

SARAJEVO, Yugoslavia, 1984: Olympic figure skater Sandra Dubravcic of Yugoslavia handled the duties, the first woman to light the flame.

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