The enthusiastic jogger and cyclist picked up the Olympic flame in Los Angeles on 16 January 2001 and carried it along the Pacific Coast from Pasadena to Santa Barbara. The young Austrian qualified for the task after winning a sports competition last summer.
Barbara trained hard at home in preparation for this highpoint in her sporting life. "It's mad! I'm speechless!" was her first reaction on hearing that she would participate in the relay, which is a dream come true.
Cheered on by the American public and in front of live cameras, the seventeen-year-old carried the mystical torch for a distance of several kilometres along a coastline which is world-famous for surfing and colourful beach life.