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Vancouver 2010 To Increase Security Following Theft Of Olympic Flag

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Vancouver 2010 will increase security following the theft of the Olympic flag early Tuesday morning from Vancouver’s city hall.

Renee Smith-Valade, vice president of communication for the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) said, “clearly we are disappointed and it’s unfortunate that the flag was stolen. Whoever did this represents either an individual or a very, very small group that is not in any way representative of the huge support in this city for the Games”.

Michael Chambers, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), called the theft frustrating. He said, “it’s frustrating to think that someone is so skewed in their view of all the good things the Olympics are about they would go and do something like that which really, unfairly, scars the great history of the Olympics”.

The flag was not the same one Vancouver’s Mayor Sam Sullivan received last year during the Closing Ceremonies of the Turin Winter Games, reports CP.

Last month protesters threw eggs and paint-filled balloons as VANOC unveiled a huge countdown clock ahead of the 2010 Games Opening Ceremonies. A man jumped on the stage and shouted obscenities into a microphone before being dragged off by police. Since then the clock has been guarded. Smith-Valade said there will be increased security around the city hall flags.

On a larger scale the Globe and Mail reports Canadian Forces are planning to deploy troops for the largest security operation in Canadian history at the 2010 Games. The military is reportedly assembling plans to provide maritime security, air support and troops – possibly calling up reserves – to secure the Games against a potential attack by terrorists, according to Defence Department documents.

Meanwhile Rene Fasel, chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) co-ordination commission, in Vancouver to inspect Games preparations, said he’s pleased with the work VANOC has done but time is running. “It seems we have a lot of time (left) but if we have to deliver an unbelievable Games we have to work together. We are very pleased that we have a very strong partnership. For sure we have some challenges but that’s why we are here”. Write or read comments about this article

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