When Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders had the opportunity to run with the 2012 Olympic torch through London, 20 years after her four-medal appearance in the Barcelona Games, nothing could stop her.
Not even appendicitis.
With an emergency appendectomy three days before her torch run, she was still committed to running (admittedly walking) her allotted 342 yards. With every step, she shed tears – not for her now-missing appendix, but in recognition of the unifying power of the Olympic Games.
A torch from those London Games now lives in the Coca-Cola Archives, which it showcased along with more than 20 other Olympic torches to celebrate the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games and 90 years of partnership between Coca-Cola and the Olympics.
Olympic torches were just a small piece of the 90-years-in-the-making exhibit displayed in Park City, Utah, ahead of the 2018 Games.
The Coca-Cola Archives also showcased two Olympic Cauldrons, only twice available for public viewing previously. Memorabilia from Jesse Owens' iconic Berlin 1936 sprint sat beside ephemera showcasing Alice Coachman, the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Simone Bile’s leotard and Michelle Kwan’s skates rested among athlete-signed Coca-Cola bottles and complete sets of Olympic pins.
“Every object was selected and put on display because it tells a little bit of a story," Coca-Cola Archvist Ted Ryan said. "When you see it all together, you get this great picture of Coca-Cola, the Olympic Games and a 90-year partnership that is just a tremendous one.”