Woman with local ties helped bring Olympic flame to Sochi

Image by Susan Goldsmith

Woman with local ties helped bring Olympic flame to Sochi

By Michelle Richards. CREATED Feb 11, 2014
SOCHI - A woman with ties to Wisconsin took part in the Olympic flame's journey to Sochi, Russia, where it will burn until the end of the Games. 

"The Olympic flame itself is a very powerful thing.  It represents peace and excellence and friendship through sport around the world," said Susan Goldsmith, a marketing director for the United States Olympic Committee in Utah.

The flame originates in Olympia, Greece and some 14,000 torch bearers are involved in bringing it to its final destination.

Goldsmith, who has family in Wisconsin, carried the torch for 300 meters in Kursk, Russia, which is just southwest of Moscow.  She said the faces of the people who lined the route lit up as torch bearers arrived.

"So when I got off the bus, I was absolutely shaking.  My hands were shaking, my whole body was shaking with adrenaline, excitement, nervousness."

It's an experience she won't soon forget.

"You want to run as slowly as possible because it's over so quickly.  People are waving and cheering; it's such an incredible experience," said Goldsmith.

The torch weighs nearly four pounds and torch bearers have to hold it with their arm extended while they run, but Goldsmith said she never got tired.

"I had so much adrenaline, I didn't even notice."

This was the 11th Olympic Games Goldsmith has been involved in, but the first time she got to carry a torch.

Michelle Richards

Michelle Richards

Michelle was born and raised in Milwaukee and she’s proud to call the Brew City home. Her radio career began at Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, where she was an announcer and producer from 1999 to 2002.