San Francisco, CA - Today, the City and County of San Francisco launched the torchbearer selection process for the San Francisco leg of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay. Residents of North America are invited to submit online applications through the website www.sustainablejourney.org until Sunday, Feb. 3, to be considered as one of the torchbearers who will make history on April 9 when the Olympic Torch travels throughout the city. San Francisco is the only North American stop on the worldwide 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in advance of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China."The Olympic Torch represents the journey for excellence,"said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom."And we are honored to have the opportunity to host and contribute to the Beijing Olympic Journey of Harmony. Here in San Francisco, we are on our own journey for a sustainable future. This is our chance to showcase how local innovation and excellence - in fitness, environmental initiatives and sustainable business practices - can be examples for the world."Individuals interested in becoming a San Francisco Torchbearer must submit an application and essay of 200 words or less describing their qualifications for carrying the Olympic Torch. Applicants are asked to provide compelling answers to questions such as: What sustains you on your personal journey for excellence' How is your personal journey making your community, your country and the world more sustainable' What are you doing to contribute to San Francisco's sustainable journey' Why should you be considered to carry the Olympic Torch in San Francisco' An application can be obtained and submitted online at www.sustainablejourney.org. Additionally, applications may be faxed to 415-693-0584 or mailed to: Sustainable Journey, PO Box 410990 #660, San Francisco, CA 94141. All applications must be received by Sunday, Feb. 3. Applications will be collected by City of San Francisco officials and a list of qualified candidates will be forwarded to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) for final determination. Details, rules and regulations regarding the selection process may be found online at www.sustainablejourney.org. The 2008 Olympic Torch Relay, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company, Samsung and Lenovo, will begin with the lighting of the Flame in Olympia, Greece, on March 24, 2008. After its arrival in Beijing on March 31, the torch will start its journey on April 1, traveling to 22 international cities, including San Francisco, before returning to mainland China where it will traverse the country for more than three months. Having been carried by more than 21,000 runners, the Flame will enter the Olympic Stadium as part of the Opening Ceremony of the XXIX Olympiad on Aug. 8, 2008. For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529.