National Press Club

Club member Tony Culley-Foster to carry Olympic Torch

May 29, 2012 | By Bob Weiner |

National Press Club member Tony Culley-Foster will carry the Olympic Torch in Northern Ireland on June 5. He will run a stage of the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay in recognition of his commitment to volunteerism, youth development, education, sport and peace.

The Olympic Torch Relay, taking place from May 19 to July 27, will bring the Olympic Flame within 10 miles of 95 percent of the people in the United Kingdom. The Olympics are taking place in London this summer.

"I am humbled to have the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch for it is an iconic symbol of the positive power of sport to promote, beyond boundaries, international friendships, global understanding and world peace," said Culley-Foster, a World Affairs Council-DC representative. "It is fitting that the Olympic Flame will also make a historic journey across the Northern Ireland border to Dublin, so that all the people of Ireland can celebrate the enduring spirit and values of the Olympic movement."

His Olympic Torchbearer nomination stated: "A key aim of the 'Inspired by London 2012' program is to convince those who regard physical activity as too much effort that it is worthwhile. So who better to inspire the people of Northern Ireland than Tony Culley-Foster whose outstanding athletic achievements and efforts to promote reconciliation, mutual respect and peace have gone a long way through dedication and hard work to help unite a divided community in Northern Ireland. The Olympic virtues of courage, sacrifice and perseverance are extremely important to Culley-Foster and his example, allied with 'Inspired by London 2012,' will highlight sport as an important stepping stone on the way to health, understanding and peace."

Culley-Foster, 64, is the only Irishman to run across the United States -- 2,988 miles from San Francisco to Washington in the summer of 1976 -- and the circumference of Ireland -- 1,234 miles from Donegal to Derry in the spring of 1980. Both runs were designed to promote, health, fitness, sport, community service and the Olympic ideals.