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Florida 2012 marks 12 years until big event

The Tampa Bay group chooses "Celebrate the Journey'' as its motto.

By JOHN ROMANO

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 16, 2000


TAMPA -- If the Olympic flame is lit in Tampa 12 years from now, the journey there will undoubtedly be emotional and event-filled.

Fittingly, officials from Florida 2012 announced Thursday night -- 12 years from the day the 2012 Olympics would open -- the theme for their bid is "Celebrate the Journey."

In a reception at their offices, Florida 2012 president Ed Turanchik said the theme works on several levels -- as the journey for the athletes to reach the Olympics, the journey for tourists worldwide who would come to the area and for the people of Tampa Bay who would take part in the preparations.

"It is not an arrogant theme. It is not egocentric and it deliberately does not focus on Tampa Bay, but rather on the experience itself," Turanchik said. "It is meant to have a broad-based appeal."

Florida 2012 used the same sort of slogan that Sydney incorporated for the 2000 Olympics, "Share the Spirit."

Tampa Bay is competing with seven other U.S. communities to be this country's candidate city for the 2012 Games. Bid documents for all U.S. cities are due on Dec. 15.

A sports art exhibition by local artist Elizabeth Arlene Smith was also unveiled Thursday night and will be displayed at the Florida 2012 offices.

RUNNING: Khalid Khannouchi, the marathon world record-holder who received U.S. citizenship last month in hopes of representing his new country at the Games, won't run at Sydney because of an ailing left hamstring and a strained groin. He hopes to be ready for a fall marathon in Chicago.

REUNIFICATION: North and South Korea pushed for cooperation on the athletic level, as well as the political. They are speaking about possibly marching together at the opening ceremonies Sept. 15.

-Times wires contributed to this report.

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