Olympic torchbearer Jillian Roberts stopped by Baptist Children’s Hospital recently and visited with pediatric patients, including Ryan Lin, age 7, who was thrilled to hold the torch that recently carried the Olympic Flame.
“I wanted to share my Olympic Torch and give the opportunity to others to experience what it’s like to hold it, and feel the power of the Olympic Games and the Olympic spirit that is so contagious,” Roberts said.
The Miamian was one of 22 Americans sponsored by Coca-Cola to go to London to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay. Her older sister nominated her for a project she started four years ago, Just Shoe It, which was inspired by her love of running and desire to help those less fortunate.
As a cross-country and track runner, Roberts went through a lot of shoes, and instead of throwing them away, she started donating them. What started as a shoes collection has expanded into a project that has collected over 9,000 pairs of shoes for people in need around the world.