Marking the Moment: US Naval Forces Chief of Staff runs in Olympic torch relay

Japan 2020

TOKYO (WAVY) — Captain Brad Stallings has lived in Japan for about four years now, so he’s made a lot of really great memories here. But he says, running in the Olympic torch relay is one of the memories at the top of his list.

It’s a moment Captain Brad Stallings will never forget.

“Everybody was lined up on the street, and the runners each had a different station,” said Stallings

Running a leg of the Olympic torch relay in Sasebo, Japan.

“There were just thousands of people all over the place so that was amazing.”

Stallings is the chief of staff of US Naval Forces Japan in Yokosuka. 

He used to be the base commander in Sasebo, which is about a two-hour flight from Tokyo. And that’s where he was chosen for the torch relay, one of 18 runners for the area.

“As you’re running, the people are just cheering you on. And the feeling became overwhelming. Reality set in that you’re part of something that’s big here, you’re running a torch for the 2020 Olympics.”

The smiles and cheers of “U-S-A” surprising him, but also reminding him of the two nation’s alliance. 

“Being selected as an American to run on that team in Japan proved that the relationship between the Japanese and Americans is rock solid, that the alliance is stronger than ever.”

Stallings now has the memories and stories along with the torch he paid for to look back on and pass along to his son marking his moment, his piece of Tokyo 2020. 

“I couldn’t tell you how much pride it felt running in that relay, it was just an amazing feeling”

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