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Franz Klammer carries Olympic flame in Torino torch relay

Franz Klammer carries Olympic flame in Torino torch relay{mosimage}Austrian ski great Franz Klammer ran with the Olympic flame Friday as the torch relay for the Torino Winter Games passed through the outskirts of Rome.

Klammer, the downhill gold medalist at the 1976 Innsbruck Games, carried the torch in cold temperatures and heavy rain in the Castel Gandolfo area, the hilly countryside south of Rome that is home to the papal summer residence.

“Carrying the Olympic spirit is very important to me. My results at the Olympics changed my life,” Klammer said Thursday. “I took part in the Innsbruck Opening Ceremony and I am just as proud now to carry the torch.”

Among the other torchbearers for the second day of the relay was Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori.

The flame was returning to Rome later Friday, with soccer players Francesco Totti of AS Roma and Paolo Di Canio of city rival Lazio carrying the torch into the Stadio Dei Marmi. The marble stadium is part of the Foro Italico complex used for the 1960 Summer Olympics.

The 64-day relay will cover 11,300 kilometers (7,022 miles) through Italy and neighboring countries, involving 10,000 torchbearers, gondolas in Venice, a Ferrari sports car and a cavalry regiment.

The final torchbearer, whose name has not yet been revealed, will light the flame at the Opening Ceremony in Torino on Feb. 10.

– The Associated Press

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