Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk held a press conference at Dallas City Hall on Thursday, October 18, to officially announce that the Olympic Flame would pass through Dallas, Texas, on December 12. All Dallas/Fort Worth area torchbearers were invited to the press conference.

Susan said that the whole time Mayor Kirk was talking, he kept looking at Ashley, who was sitting in her wheelchair on the front row wearing a red, white, and blue "flag" shirt. Three torchbearers had been pre-selected to briefly tell the story of how they were nominated to carry the Olympic Flame. The final speaker never showed up, so Mayor Kirk asked Ashley if she would like to come up and say a few words. Ashley's voice was very weak, so I wheeled her up to the front and proceeded to tell her story. When I was finished, the whole room erupted in applause, with people shouting "Way to go, Ashley!" and similar sentiments. It was very touching!

Click here to see a video of the Press Conference, put together by Dallas Community Television. The video is presented here in RealMedia format (requiring the free RealOne Player). It is 4 minutes 15 seconds in length.
Here are some video captures and audio from the Press Conference. Click any picture to see it slightly enlarged.

When one of the scheduled speakers didn't show up for the press conference, Mayor Kirk asked Ashley if she would like to come up and say a few words.

Click here to hear Mayor Kirk. (transcript)



I wheeled Ashley up to the front in her wheelchair. Since her voice was too weak to be heard by the crowd, I proceeded to tell Ashley's story. As soon as I had finished, the whole room erupted in applause for Ashley. People were shouting "Way to go, Ashley!"

Click here to hear my impromptu rendition of Ashley's story. (transcript)

After the press conference had concluded, several news crews came up and interviewed Ashley, including a television production company named Dallas Community Television (DCTV). In the DCTV interview, Ashley's answers to the following questions were captured on video.

"What would you say to the people of New York who experienced such a devastating tragedy on September 11?"

Click here to hear Ashley's answser, which is especially poignant considering all that she had been through and was going through at the time. (transcript)

"Why is it special to you to be selected as an Olympic Torch Bearer?"

Click here to hear Ashley's answer. (transcript)


Here are some more pictures from the press conference. Click any picture to see it enlarged.
Here is Ashley with fellow 14-year-old cancer survivor and Olympic Torchbearer Lindsay. We had received an e-mail from Lindsay after the newspaper article ran in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and then we got to meet Lindsay and her Mom at the press conference.
Here is a picture of our family (minus Justin, who was in school) with Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk.
This picture apperared in the Dallas Morning News on October 19, the day after the press conference.


Back to Torch Relay Index