Olympic Message to Begin Ocean Journey

Olympic Message to Begin Ocean Journey

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Shelley Osterloh ReportingSince the first of April we have been following the progress of two bike riders traveling across the country carrying a message headed to the Mayor of Torino, the next winter Olympic City. The bikers have completed their 2700 mile trip to New York, and Sunday morning the message begins its TransAtlantic journey on a sailing yacht.

The "Message" is enclosed in two cylinders to be hand carried across two continents and an ocean. It will make the journey without the using any fossil fuel.

Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson: "Our message is one of peace, health and justice. With an emphasis on action we can all take to help make this a more environmentally sustainable, healthy and just world."

It was rainy day in April when Jeff Niermeyer and Marc Wangsgard started their five week trek across the country. The last of their 12 state journey was through Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where the team changed their plan because of the difficulty of riding through New York City.

Jeff Niermeyer: "Basically ship the bikes out of New Brunswick area, leave the cars there, and hopefully continue the journey of the message on foot and by electric train."

Once in New York the riders joined again with Mayor Anderson at an event at the New York Yacht Club. The riders say the highlight of the trip was talking to children along the way, especially those in inner cities.

Jeff Niermeyer: "He [their teacher] said these kids, they don't get to see something outside their community, they don't see somebody pushing a goal all the time."

Now the two volunteer riders have reached their goal and they hand off the capsule to the Sailboat Captain who will carry it to Belgium as part of the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge -- a century old race that has attracted 21 of the Worlds fastest sail ships.

Joseph Hoopes Captain of Palowan: "I know this will be an inspiration to the crew of Palowan as we race across the Atlantic."

Capt. Hoopes and the crew of the Palowan take off from New York Harbor tomorrow morning and are expected to reach Belgium by the end of June. Then the message will be picked up by more volunteer bike riders and carried to the Mayor of Torino.

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