Fil-Am cancer survivor chosen as 2012 London Olympic torch bearer

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MANILA, Philippines– Rodolfo Sebastian Carlos, a thyroid cancer survivor working at the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in Atlanta, Georgia, was selected by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to be among the torchbearers who will carry the Olympic flame as it journeys around the United Kingdom.

A report by the Public Information Services Unit (PISU) of the Department of Foreign Affairs emailed to media said Carlos was chosen through LOCOG’s “Moment to Shine” campaign. The campaign, which was launched in May 2011, encouraged members of the public to nominate someone with best personal stories or who have made a real difference in their school or local community.

Carlos is originally from Parañaque City. He went to the United States in 2001, where he pursued graduate studies in Boston University and Cornell University. It was while working at IHG when he learned that he had thyroid cancer. He then turned to practicing Filipino martial arts (FMA), among other activities, to help rebuild his strength. With his brother, he has been actively promoting FMA and sharing knowledge to various branches of the military, police, and community watch volunteers. He also credits faith in God and family as instrumental to his recovery.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said that Carlos’ “inspiring story as a cancer survivor and passion to share his knowledge of Filipino martial arts to others in the community indeed makes him a fitting candidate for this honored pursuit.”

By being a 2012 London Olympics torch bearer, Carlos hopes to accomplish the following: serve as an inspiration to the youth of his birth country, the Philippines, to keep on chasing after their dreams; bring awareness to thyroid cancer and inspire fellow survivors to give support to those who are currently battling this disease; and, promote awareness of Filipino martial arts and a lifelong physical culture lifestyle of “living strong”.

Carlos will be passing on the Olympic torch in Willenhall on June 30 and hopes to see his fellow Filipinos show their support to all the Filipinos chosen to join the relay.

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