Mitt Romney is not the only candidate on the November ballot who can claim ties to the Olympic Games. Palm Beach County schoolteacher David Lutrin, who is running for Florida Statehouse in District 85, was a torchbearer for the Los Angeles based Games of the XXIII Olympiad as well as the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.
Lutrin, 58, teaches physical education at Boca Raton’s Coral Sunset Elementary and has taught in public schools for 22 years. He was able to retain possession of the torches from both Olympiads and brings them to school to inspire his pupils each year. “Competitors from the Olympic Games come to compete in friendly competition and leave international politics aside for two weeks every four years. I teach my kids that when they set foot on a playing field, you need to put aside personal differences and play the game for the love of the game.”
Lutrin plans to have both torches on hand for a July 27th London Olympic
Games Opening Ceremony watch party, taking place at Abbey Road Restaurant and Sports Grill in Palm Beach Gardens. Information about the event can be found on Lutrin’s campaign facebook page and website, www.lutrin.org.
As a charitable donor to a youth legacy program, Lutrin qualified to carry the torch in Los Angeles and torchbearers from those games were able to keep their torches. Lutrin entered his wife Harriet in a Coca-Cola sponsored contest to carry the torch for the Atlanta Olympics and she won the contest. She decided to let her husband run for a second time. That torch was purchased and gifted to Lutrin by his school PTA, where Lutrin had been nominated as a United Way Community Hero.
Lutrin participated in lacrosse and track while at Queens College, and plans to use that experience in his run for State House in District 85, encompassing his residence in Palm Beach Gardens and northern Palm Beach County against incumbent Representative Pat Rooney. “Politics is a different kind of competition but we’ll try to keep it friendly; I do look forward to carrying the torch for District 85 all the way to Tallahassee”