Arizona man carrying Olympic Torch

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Athletes from around the world are gearing up for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

While Valley fans can't wait for next month's competition in London, those living in the Estrella Mountain Ranch Community have their eyes set on one of their own.

“My daughter made me a torch,” Dale Kamarata said. “So she and I practice with the paper torch. My daughter wants to make sure I don't drop it."

Kamarata's family couldn't be happier. He joins Michelle Kwan, Summer Sanders and 19 other Americans to carry the Olympic torch.
“I know I don't get to light the cauldron, but to me just holding the torch is close enough,” Kamarata said.

A special honor Kamarata got after being nominated by two of his Coca-Cola co-workers. For years, he's been changing kids’ lives through his Estrella Youth Sports program.
“We started EYS almost six years ago here in Estrella Mountain Ranch and it was really giving kids an opportunity to play and meet their neighbors,” Kamarata said. “We thought we would have 20 or 30 kids in it and now we have over 1,200 kids in it that play during the school year.”

Not only growing in size with the number of kids’, but also adding more fields and courts.

For Kamarata, being among the 8,000 people who will carry the Olympic torch is an honor he'll cherish forever.  

“I feel like I'm carrying it for my family, the United States, for Coca-Cola, all the families of Estrella Youth Sports to all the volunteers,” Kamarata said.

Coca-Cola selected Kamarata and the 21 other Americans. The torch is expected to reach the London Olympic stadium for opening ceremonies on July 27.