Fred DeLuca, the 56-year-old founder of Subway Restaurants, will carry the Olympic torch through the streets of Brooklyn next Saturday. His quarter-mile run will begin on Myrtle Avenue and continue down Flatbush Avenue where the torch will be handed off to the next relay runner.
DeLuca was invited to participate in the run by Coca-Cola.
“I have had a very worthwhile career and have had the opportunity to do many exciting things,” DeLuca said in a statement issued by Subway, “but this has to be one of the most momentous I have been asked to take part in. I am so honored and proud to do this for our Olympic athletes and for the United States.”
The Olympic Torch Relay has been a tradition since 1952 when it was adopted from an idea proposed by a chairman of the 1936 Berlin Games to symbolize spirit, knowledge, and life.
The flame was lit in Ancient Olympia on March 25 this year and brought to Athens’ Marble Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. It burned at the stadium until June 4, when it started a 46,800-mile journey across six continents, 27 countries, and 33 cities with some 11,000 runners.