By JOSH NICHOLS
Daily Press writer
In one month, two Moffat County High School teachers will get the opportunity to take part in one of the world's richest traditions.
Woodshop teacher Craig Conrad and vocational agriculture teacher Rick Murr are two of the approximately 11,500 people who will carry the Olympic torch one-quarter of a mile across the United States to its final destination at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Conrad was nominated to carry the torch by John Knoche of Cook Chevrolet.
His said that his reasons for nominating Conrad were simple.
"He's probably one of the most well-respected teachers in Colorado, if not in the entire country," Knoche said. "My kid had him for four years and he was probably one of the most influential teachers he ever had."
Because of the influence Conrad has had on his MCHS students, Knoche thought he was a good candidate for carrying the torch.
"I thought he was a great guy for the job," he said.
Conrad said he has already received a jogging suit for the run, and went to a training session two months ago in Glenwood Springs.
"It was neat because you got to meet all of the other torch bearers," he said. "They had a scale model of the torch that we had to practice handing off to one another."
Conrad has not been training for the run, but said he'll be able to finish his leg on pure adrenaline.
"With all the people there, you'll be pumped up," he said. "But thank goodness it's only a quarter of a mile."
Murr was anonymously nominated over the Internet, but could not be reached for comment.
The two teachers will carry the torch on Feb. 2, but are not yet sure of the exact location.
It will likely be on Interstate 70, somewhere between Aspen and Grand Junction.
Conrad said organizers told him they would make the exact location approximately three weeks before they carried the torch.
The Flame for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games was lit Nov. 19, 2001 in Olympia, Greece.
It traveled to Athens before arriving in Atlanta, Ga., the site of the last U.S. city to host the Games.
The torch run began in the U.S. on Dec. 4.
From then until Feb. 8, when the torch is used to officially light the Cauldron to start the 2002 games, the Flame will be carried through 250 U.S. cities and 46 states.