IOC to consider ending international Olympic torch run



The Olympic torch arrived for its only North American stop on Tuesday amid reports that the International Olympic Committee will consider cancelling the international leg of the relay in light of anti-China protests.

News of a possible review of the relay comes in the wake of violent protests by pro-Tibet activists who have interrupted the Olympic torch runs in London and Paris.

The Associated Press quoted International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge on Tuesday as saying he was "deeply saddened" by the demonstrations and that the IOC's executive board would discuss abandoning the international leg in a meeting Friday.

Gunilla Lindberg, a vice-president of the IOC, also told reporters that "I think we need to have a full review."

Emmanuelle Moreau, an IOC spokeswoman, told CBC News that it was "likely that the subject of the torch relay be discussed at some stage during the upcoming executive board meeting.

"This would be natural, given the recent events," Moreau said.
Torch run 'hijacked,' says Pound

IOC committee member Dick Pound told CBC News that he wasn't sure cancelling the international leg of the relay was a good idea, but said the run is allowing "a peaceful agenda to be hijacked by somebody with a completely different agenda."

"Nobody likes what goes on in Tibet. We'd like to see a solution for it, but to build your entire response to the China-Tibet problem on the back of a team of synchronized swimmers and other athletes at the Games I think is wrong and counterproductive."

He added he has never supported an international torch relay because of the logistics and risks involved.

The 137,000 kilometre international trek, which stops in 20 countries, is the longest Olympic torch run ever staged. But activists opposed to China's policies toward Tibet and Sudan have used the event to bring attention to their causes.
Protests launched in San Francisco

The torch arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday, a day ahead of the full relay along the city's waterfront.

The same day it arrived, thousands of people are expected to attend a rival torch relay supporting Tibetan independence.

Protests against the Chinese government have already sprung up in the California city, as three pro-Tibet activists climbed the suspension cables of the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday to protest arrival of the torch relay.

The protesters unfurled two giant banners reading "One World, One Dream" and "Free Tibet '08" — a play on the official slogan of the Beijing Games. One of the climbers also displayed a Tibetan flag.

The last segment of the torch's run through Paris was cancelled Monday after thousands of anti-China protesters repeatedly prompted officials to halt the procession, extinguish the flame and put the torch aboard a bus.

Despite beefed-up security, the relay had to be suspended at least five times as demonstrators threatened the torch. A vehicle carried the Olympic flame for the last part of the route, but a runner was allowed to carry the torch for the final five metres into a sports stadium in the south of Paris.

On Sunday, police repeatedly scuffled with protesters in London, including one who tried to grab the torch, while another tried to snuff out the flame with what appeared to be a fire extinguisher.

After San Francisco, the torch is scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires and then to a dozen other countries. It is scheduled to enter mainland China on May 4 for the host country's portion of the relay.

Losers. There's better ways of resolving this then screwing up the olympics not just for China but for all the other countries who are going to play. It's not hurting China any as they're probably already used to the world bitching them out for one thing or another.... this too will have no effect except screw up the games for everybody else and leave a bad taste in the mouths of everyone.

Tibet will still be under the control of China and the games will blow because some people around the world think this is making a difference in their cause, which it isn't.

Why can't independant human rights, animal rights organizations etc. and people who are opposed to something just get a brain and learn to use it? If you're opposed to something, then do something about it in a manner which will show results in the end.... not continually pulling moronic stunts like these just to get some 50 seconds of media attention. It makes no difference if you make the entire world aware of your plight..... make them actually understand and care about it.

Morons. These actions do not make me side with their problems or their protests, they actually make me do the opposite, because they don't know wtf they're doing. Get a brain people and try and make change the right way.
If we pay "professional atheletes" enormous sums to "entertain" us and fill stadiums and arenas and it turns out that anabolic steroids and human growth hormone is what we're actually paying for....what's the fuss over a little torch parade...?

When "Beach Volleyball" and Synchronized Swimming and many of the "modern" competitions and contests became suitable as olympic caliber "sports" it should have been a clue that the "games" aren't about atheletic superiority they're about ticket sales and marketting opportunities...

Olympics....what a con job!

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