Junior Jordan Usdan participated in the national ceremonial Olympic Torch running Dec. 21, when he ran the torch two-tenths of a mile in Georgetown.
Usdan was among 14 torch runners from the District, including Washington Fire Chief Ronnie Few, and ran down Wisconsin Avenue from P Street to Prospect Street. The International Olympic Committee and sponsor Coca-Cola selected Usdan for his involvement in starting the Dance Marathon at GW.
“It was awesome to run with the flame in my hand,” Usdan wrote in an e-mail from London, where he is studying abroad for the spring semester. “I was part of a huge caravan of trucks, cameras, motorcycles and buses.”
He said his parents joined friends and members of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, to cheer him on.
“People lined the streets the entire way; when I stopped, people asked me to pose for pictures with them and some actually asked me for my autograph,” said Usdan, a political communication major.
Usdan said he spoke with Madeline Albright on the
torch bearer bus.
He described his run as “something between a run and a jog.”
“I wanted to enjoy the moment, but I also wanted to speed the torch along its path to Salt Lake City,” Usdan said.
He is among about 11,500 torchbearers that will make .2 mile runs to transport the torch to Salt Lake City by Feb. 8 for the Olympic Opening Ceremony, according to the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic torch relay Web site. The Olympic Flame will visit 46 states and cover 13,500 miles on the way to Salt Lake City.
D.C hosted a two-day celebration that included ceremonies at the White House and Pentagon Dec. 21 and 22.
The founder and chairman of the GW Dance Marathon for the past year and a half, Usdan also directed the Academic Update his freshman and sophomore years and is an active Kappa Sigma member.
Usdan said he kept the three-foot torch sponsored by Coca-Cola.
“I can’t wait to display it in my office when I am older and tell the story behind it,” he said.