The Voice: Winter 2002

The Voice

Alumnus Jean Vreeman carries Olympic torch

Jean Vreeman ('79) will carry the Olympic torch as it moves through Alaska this month.

Jean's daughter Andrea found out that Coca-Cola was an Olympic sponsor and decied to visit the website and nominate her mom to be a torchbearer. To persuade the judges to pick her mom, Andrea told them “we kids are neglected for three weeks straight every two years because my mom can't be pulled away frm the Olympic coverage.”

Jean was chosen from more than 210,000 people nominated in Alaska. Zach Vreeman, a senior at Dordt said, “I'm sure that my sister's nomination was truthful in how much she likes the Olympics. It's a huge thing for her.”

On the morning of January 24, Jean and her husband, Steve, will attend a special breakfast for all of the runners. Jean will carry the torch two-tenths of a mile before handing it off to one of the other thirty Alaskans participating.

Since only the flame is passed between runners, Vreeman will get to keep her Olympic torch. Usually, runners have to buy their torches, but since Vreeman is sponsored by Coca-Cola, she won't have to pay any of the nearly $400 for the torch.

“I'm sure it will have a prominent place in our house forever,” says Zach.

The Olympic torch has never made an appearance in Alaska because the state is not connected with the other states, but this year the flame will be taken from Seattle, Washington, to Juneau and then back to Washington. The torch is carried a total of sixty-five days and 13,500 miles and will visit forty-six states.

“I'm very proud of my mom and incredibly happy that she gets this chance that very few people do,” says Zach.

Taken from an article in the Diamond, written by Laura Apol.