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St. Louis woman quit her job in 1996 to carry Olympic torch

She was working for a marketing firm promoting the torch run and decided not to return to the office.

ST. LOUIS — There are many ways to be part of the Olympic games. From competing to coaching to helping behind the scenes. Then there's carrying the torch leading up to the games themselves. That's what one St. Louis woman got to do 25 years ago.

"It's the same flame," Cari Hampton Dimovitz said. "It comes from the 'mother flame' in Athens. It's indescribable how amazing that is."

Dimovitz was working with a marketing company promoting the torch run in 1996, the year the games were in Atlanta, Georgia. She ended up quitting her job and staying with the torch for the tour instead of going back to the office.

"I ran in West Palm Beach, Florida and I have family in Florida," Dimovitz said. "My grandmother, my uncle, a couple of my aunts and cousins actually got to see me run with the torch so that was really cool too."

She's now a counselor at Christian Brothers College. The memories from 25 years ago, carrying a piece of the games, stick with her.

"Just to know that I carried part of that tradition that has gone on since then it's an amazing honor," Dimovitz said. "I've always been a fan of the Olympics and then even more so now."

She says it's not as easy as it looks to run with a piece of Olympic history.

"It's tough," Dimovitz said. "I'm a little older now but when I ran with the torch I was 24 so I was in pretty good shape then, but when you're running and you're holding it up that takes a little bit of strength."

Of course, you're excited to take the torch, but there's always that one big fear.

"I don't think you can run knowing what you're carrying and not be worried that it's going to go out," Dimovitz said.

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