Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Torch Songs

Photo: Reuters Pictures

So the Olympic Torch was in Paris over the weekend. Normally this is something that the public and kids go and see as a series of runners or walkers or atheletes parade it through cities and towns on the way to it lighting the flame at the opening ceremonies in the Olympic stadium in the host country. With the focus on Tibet this year, and the Chinese oppression of the Falun Gong, and other human rights concerns, the Olympic flame has become a focus of protesters. Almost as if it is a Chinese symbol...

This is from the CBC article discussing the security for the visit of the flame to the French capitol:

About 3,000 French police are part of a security effort to protect the procession route through the city streets Monday.

Police barricaded the streets and traffic was shut off from areas along the route of the torch relay.

The security detail includes about 200 police officers who were to accompany the torch run on inline skates and on foot.

As well, 65 motorcycles with police riders were assigned to surround the torch with 200 to 300 riot police officers in 32 vans following. Three boats were patrolling the Seine River, and a helicopter was overhead, police said.

Eventually after 4 interruptions by protesters, the flame was extinguished and put on a bus and taken to an 'undisclosed location' prior to its movement to the US. Apparently it is in San Francisco now. Where, in advance of its tour through the city, this happened yesterday on the Golden Gate bridge. It shows anti China protesters who climbed the cable stays and hung a Free Tibet banner...

Photo: Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images

That is certainly not what the Olympics is about... And it's really crappy that Beijing and it's poor track record on human rights won out over Toronto. Not that I am showing a Canadian bias towards Toronto, but seriously, what was the IOC thinking in 2001?

I know it won't happen, but given the bad PR the Olympics is getting (and China has put out tenders to international PR firms to help with that), the IOC should just pull the games this year. Why would they want to be associated with that?

And at the same time, I read a story about 15yr old Canadian swimmer Lindsay Seemann who won the women's 200-meter backstroke at the Canadian Swimming Trials Olympic selection meet last Sunday in Montreal.

She is in Grade 10 and lives in Newmarket, Ontario. And now she gets to go to Beijing and represent Canada in the pool. How do you take away that from someone?

Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.


Mike Wood Photography

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