Kerri Walsh gets ready to run

April 8, 2008 7:24:49 PM PDT
Among the relay runners on Wednesday is Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh. She's a Bay Area native. Kerri isn't worried about her safety, but she does hope demonstrators won't get out of control.

Beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh brought her 2004 Olympic Gold Medal to San Jose.

A crowd of second graders nearly mobbed the athlete. Kerri knows the torch could spark a similar reaction when she runs with it tomorrow in San Francisco.

"I think I'm just going to try to focus on the positive and just understand that I'm carrying an iconic symbol for the world," said Kerri.

Kerri has followed the demonstrations as the torch makes its way to Beijing. She says she supports the message by protestors, but feels activists in London and Paris crossed the line.

"Ultimately, I understand and respect everyone's opinion and viewpoints, but I think it's unfortunate. I think people are allowed to express their opinions and I think that's wonderful, but I don't think they need to do it in such a negative way," said Kerri.

Kerri's appearance in San Jose Tuesday was all positive. Her Chase the Stars Foundation and Lenovo gave a $15,000 dollar grant and ten computers to the Rocketship One public school. The kids also got some one on one instruction.

"She's going to teach us how to play volleyball," said a student.

The Saratoga native showed off her winning form that will compete in Beijing. Kerri says she understands the games will be politicized, but as an athlete she'll stay focused on her goals with Olympic partner Misty May.

"Athens in so many ways feels like a lifetime ago but also feels like yesterday and so we're so inspired. We want to bring home another gold for the USA and show the world that we're the best," said Kerri.

She'll take that smile to San Francisco on Wednesday, with hopes of an uninterrupted torch run.


Load Comments