Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reliant Energy Torch Relay begins at Johnson Space Center in Houston

Every two years a parabolic mirror is used to light the Olympic flame. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek gods, the light that hits Mt. Olympus is concentrated until it ignites the flame that burns until the Olympic Games end. In this tradition, the Relay Torch for the 2011 Summer Senior Games was lit from the sunlight that kisses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Johnson Space Center, the grounds where much of America’s historic Space Race unfolded.

Apollo 7 Astronaut Walt Cunningham lit the torch and carried it first, launching the Reliant Energy Torch Relay on June 8 at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

“The Ancient Greeks had it right; Healthy mind and a sound body,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham and his wife Dot carried the torch first around the Saturn V Rocket at Rocket Park.

Cunningham participated to help spread the message of the Torch Relay and the Senior Games.

“This is motivating people to stay fit throughout life,” Torch Relay Director Del Moon said.

More than 20 athletes carried the torch during the modified relay. The Reliant Energy Torch Relay will travel to eight cities before arriving in Houston June 16 to light the 2011 National Senior Games cauldron. The 2011 Summer National Senior Games presented by Humana is the largest sports event in the world for people over the age of 50.

Honored speakers at the launch included Dayna Steele, Houston radio personality, Phil Godfrey, President & CEO of the National Senior Games Association, Stephen Morisseau, Reliant Energy Director of Public Relations and Communications, Bill Kruger, Texas’ most-winning basketball coach, and Richard Allen, Johnson Space Center Director.

--Cait Shields, 2011 Senior Games

The link below features raw footage from the Reliant Torch Relay yesterday.

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