LOS ANEGELES: Proclaiming it “the proudest moment” of his life, Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone carried the Olympic torch Wednesday on the first leg of its US run after the flame arrived from Mexico on its worldwide relay.
With music from his “Rocky” movie blaring in the background, Stallone was cheered on by hundreds of onlookers as the torch began its journey through Los Angeles neighbourhoods, carried by 150 runners ranging from the anonymous to world-recognized names like world heavyweight boxing champ Vitali Klitschko and actor Tom Cruise.
The torch was due to pass through the previous Summer Olympic cities of St. Louis yesterday and Atlanta today, then travel through New York on Saturday and on to Montreal Sunday.
Almost 11,000 people will carry it across five continents in its global relay, which for the first time includes Africa and Latin America. It is also the first time that the number of torch carriers outnumbers the number of athletes participating in the world's most prestigious sporting event.
Stallone, who rose to fame portraying an underdog boxer in the movie “Rocky”, was chosen together with Cruise and comedian Ellen De Generes by Samsung, the electronics giant sponsoring the torch's global relay. – dpa