Los Angeles as part of its 46,800-mile trip across six continents, 27
countries and 33 cities.
Howard was excited, to say the least, when he heard the news.
"I was stoked," said Howard, who runs with the aid of a $15,000
prosthetic, purchased with the help of Glendale Kiwanis and other
donors. "I got an e-mail, and my first reaction was to call up
everybody, but I had to keep it a secret until they made an official
Howard, 20, was selected after his mother, Regan Boone, and
girlfriend, Tiffany Thornton, nominated him in February. Those
nominated had to reflect the spirit of the Olympic Games.
In Howard's case, he more than met the criteria. The 2002
Crescenta Valley graduate -- who was an accomplished distance runner,
winning the Pacific League's 3,200-meter title as a senior -- never
gave up on his running dreams, despite enduring grueling chemotherapy
sessions and attending UC Irvine on a full-time basis.
In April, he set the second-fastest 1,500-meter mark in the world
this year for an amputee with a time of 5 minutes 3 seconds.
"I always say that when I grow up, I want to be like him," Boone
said. "I'm in awe. I don't know where he gets it.
"He told me that he never realized his potential until this
happened. His life has changed, but he's made lemonade out of
Some of America's greatest Olympians, in addition to well-known
celebrities, will also be torchbearers. Among those are athletes
Magic Johnson, Carl Lewis, Gail Devers, Janet Evans and Jackie
Joyner-Kersee, and actresses Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie.
The theme of the torch relay is "Pass the Flame, Unite the World."
The Olympic flame was lighted March 25 in a ceremony in Olympia,
Greece. The flame then made its way to Panathinaiko Stadium in
Athens, the site of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and this year's
The international portion of the torch relay will begin June 4 in
Sydney, Australia, site of the 2000 Olympics. Running routes have not
been announced, but the Los Angeles portion of the relay will begin
June 16 with a ceremony at Dodger Stadium.
Three other U.S. cities -- St. Louis, Atlanta and New York --
will also participate.