Socorro man runs torch relay ahead of Olympics

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SOCORRO, NM (KRQE) – A small-town New Mexico native just ran with the Olympic torch for the second time.

Louis Vega, 47, works in Australia for a Fortune 500 company that’s a U.S. corporate sponsor of the Olympics. That’s how the Socorro High School and New Mexico State University alum came across this unique opportunity to carry the torch along a stretch of the 2,000-kilometer relay, his aunt said.

“He was a go-getter since the beginning,” his father, Lupe Vega, said.

He also ran the torch relay in Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“All his successes that he has accomplished are just mind-boggling. We swell up with pride, of course,” his aunt, Rita Steinnerd, said.

He hasn’t forgotten his roots though. He still visit’s his family’s 40-acre hay and alfalfa farm every year in Polvadera, an unincorporated community in Socorro County.

His dad says he was always athletic and had an interest in politics, working for Rep. Steven Schiff, then former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici before landing at Dow Chemical Company in Australia.

“He stays humble,” Steinnerd said. “He doesn’t let all this go to his head. He knows where he came from.”

That’s why he gives back. He started the Alice Vega Memorial Scholarship — named for his mom — at Socorro High School.

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