Jump to content

Your Torch Relay 2008


Recommended Posts

I think the majority if the protesters understood the situation in Tibet perfectly well and many who spoke about it were very eloquent and taught me things about the situation I didn't know before. There may have been some "attention whores" as you put it but name a single protest in the world where that hasn't been the case.

As I said in another thread (or it may even have bee this one) just because you don't like something, it doesn't mean those doing it are ignoramouses or hooligans. Some of them may have been but I got the impression they were in the minority.

Where did I ever say I didn't approve of protesting the atrocities in Tibet? I'm all for peaceful protest. Especially with people like Richard Gere who has made it a cause for years and Desmond Tutu who jointly held a rally prior to the running in San Francisco. They and the San Francisco group who strive for Tibetan freedom (I forget their name right now) have made it their cause for a long period of time.

What I am not for are individuals who have done zilch up until now who all the sudden come out of the woodwork whose usual tactic is to take a peaceful protest and cause problems. Usually they are bored students from Berkeley who are the children of hippies or people who spend their lives in a rent controlled apartment inhaling the bong all day.

I don't know about London and Paris but here in San Francisco, outside of the mini fire bombing attempt two weeks prior to the torch run at the Chinese Embassy there has never been any large scale protest about what is going on in Tibet or Darfur. There have been protests continually about the war - what is perceived as lack of care for the homeless - abortion - bicyclist rights - the Blue Angels - but never anything about Tibet.

So for 10,000 people to show up to watch the torch run - of which you have to figure 4-5000 were protestors - where were they prior to that day?

Let's face it - we're talking about this subject for two reasons. We're talking about it because the IOC gave the Games to Beijing in the first place and because of the Chinese regime's own recent actions. They've brought this on themselves

Yep - I knew this was going to happen as soon as I heard the vote in 2001. My, how things would be different now had Toronto gotten them as they should have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 639
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I did receive an interesting piece of information, the alleged reason why Vancouver, Toronto nor Montreal was chosen for the relay was because of the daily Felon Gong and Tibet protests at the Chinese diplomatic missions in those cities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where did I ever say I didn't approve of protesting the atrocities in Tibet? I'm all for peaceful protest. Especially with people like Richard Gere who has made it a cause for years and Desmond Tutu who jointly held a rally prior to the running in San Francisco. They and the San Francisco group who strive for Tibetan freedom (I forget their name right now) have made it their cause for a long period of time.

What I am not for are individuals who have done zilch up until now who all the sudden come out of the woodwork whose usual tactic is to take a peaceful protest and cause problems. Usually they are bored students from Berkeley who are the children of hippies or people who spend their lives in a rent controlled apartment inhaling the bong all day.

I don't know about London and Paris but here in San Francisco, outside of the mini fire bombing attempt two weeks prior to the torch run at the Chinese Embassy there has never been any large scale protest about what is going on in Tibet or Darfur. There have been protests continually about the war - what is perceived as lack of care for the homeless - abortion - bicyclist rights - the Blue Angels - but never anything about Tibet.

So for 10,000 people to show up to watch the torch run - of which you have to figure 4-5000 were protestors - where were they prior to that day?

Yep - I knew this was going to happen as soon as I heard the vote in 2001. My, how things would be different now had Toronto gotten them as they should have.

I know what you're getting at, mate. There's no doubt some, especially young university types, who are professional protesters for the sake of protesting, rather than the cause. I admit, I participated in the odd one or two when I was a student when I didn't give a **** about the cause (student fees or academic "freedoms") but was in it more for the fun and novelty. But I also demonstrated sometimes sincerely for causes I cared about (I was a regular at anti nuclear-proliferation marches in the early 80s).

It's only natural bigger crowds, committed or otherwise, will be drawn to events with a higher profile or attention. Pro and anti abortionists, gay activists, environmental fighters etc will gather in bigger, more newsworthy, numbers outside courthouses or judicial buildings when legal decisions about the issues are to be decided. The rest of the time gatherings are far smaller and rarely reported, and the most we might notice are leaflets or posters etc. I do think there has been a hard core of Tibetan activism always present _ we often get groups in parks handing out Tibetan leaflets here, and I know they have mounted on-going peaceful sit-in protests outside the Chinese Consulate here (I used to go past it often when I lived nearby). I'd be surprised if "The Epoch Times", with its anti-Chinese Communist, pro Falun Gong, Tibet, Taiwan etc stance _ isn't as widely distributed in San Francisco with its large Chinese population as it is in Sydney, with ours. Such issues only start getting real attention from the media or even the public when numbers start to get even into the three figures, much less the the thousands. And that only ever really happens if there's a touch-stone, like the relay. Sure, they do bring the usual rabble of hangers on as well, but they are an indication of the wider support of such issues which aren't always immediately apparent in normal times when the only ones continuously manning the barricades are those who are generally passionate and committed, even obsessive, about them.

There also were large numbers of pro-China activists at all the relays. I've seen reports where these were said to be in greater numbers even. And good that they were allowed to be there as well. It sure demonstrated that we also in the West respect and protect their right to gather in numbers to protest as well.

The torch relays of course also brought out huge crowds of people who were just there to see the torch. Good old Olympic supporters, like us. Many of them were possibly, nay probably, angered at the activists there. We all here I'm sure have a certain respect for what the torch represents. But I doubt if you really asked the majority of the crowds in London, Paris or SF, if many would have said were overt supporters of either the Tibetan or the Chinese Communist Government policies _ the vast majority I would guess would say they were there to support purity of the Olympics or just to see the flame, rather than as a show of solidarity with the Chinese Government or the Tibetans.

Edited by Sir Roltel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether the protestors are long-term Tibet supporters or not, does that make the cause any less just or unjust? Let's face it - we're talking about this subject for two reasons. We're talking about it because the IOC gave the Games to Beijing in the first place and because of the Chinese regime's own recent actions. They've brought this on themselves.

I don't think the issue is about time. It is about sincerity and true commitment to the cause they are demonstrating for.

The IOC gave the games to Beijing after a fair vote with a fair contest with worthy competitors. You make it sound as thou the IOC sold the games to Beijing in exchange for an improvement in the human rights situation in China.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think the issue is about time. It is about sincerity and true commitment to the cause they are demonstrating for.

The IOC gave the games to Beijing after a fair vote with a fair contest with worthy competitors. You make it sound as thou the IOC sold the games to Beijing in exchange for an improvement in the human rights situation in China.

You betcha that the IOC practically sold the Games. They did it as well at the 2014 host city election when not the best technical bid, but the bid with the most money and the most powerful host country president won the race. If you still believe that the IOC makes free decisions which are only geared to what is best for the athletes and the Olympic ideals, you're absolutely on the wrong track. Money counts, and political promises. Nothing more and nothing less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is it with some people that think the IOC makes rational & "noble" decisions. Are these people hiding under a rock, &/or can't face up to the truth of the matter. To say that the 2008 IOC vote was "fair" & that the IOC didn't play politics in to their choice is clearly being oblivious to the circumstances surrounding & attributing to the final result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heard on Breakfast News today that Beijing are planning a second torch relay through London in August for the Paralympic Games!! :o

They said it's likely to be much shorter, rely a lot more on busses and could even be confined to a stadium. But even so, it seems more than a little risky!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heard on Breakfast News today that Beijing are planning a second torch relay through London in August for the Paralympic Games!! :o

They said it's likely to be much shorter, rely a lot more on busses and could even be confined to a stadium. But even so, it seems more than a little risky!

Well if at first you don't succeed try, try again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You betcha that the IOC practically sold the Games. They did it as well at the 2014 host city election when not the best technical bid, but the bid with the most money and the most powerful host country president won the race. If you still believe that the IOC makes free decisions which are only geared to what is best for the athletes and the Olympic ideals, you're absolutely on the wrong track. Money counts, and political promises. Nothing more and nothing less.

Might I remind everyone that the whole Olympic Movement (NOCs, IFs and Organizing Committees) takes benefits of 93% of the money generated by the Games. So yeah, money counts and it does contribute to sending athletes from 205 NOCs to the Games!

Not saying that awarding the Games on money alone is right. But that things are a tiny more complicated than "money = bad" that some tend to think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Might I remind everyone that the whole Olympic Movement (NOCs, IFs and Organizing Committees) takes benefits of 93% of the money generated by the Games. So yeah, money counts and it does contribute to sending athletes from 205 NOCs to the Games!

Not saying that awarding the Games on money alone is right. But that things are a tiny more complicated than "money = bad" that some tend to think.

That is a very interesting number - 93%!!!

I am in the accounting and I would like to audit in the books of the IOC who and how these 93% are spread in the "Olympic Movement" and furthermore I would love to see the books of every single NOC, too...

I hope the accounting of the IOC is auditing the different NOCs, too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You betcha that the IOC practically sold the Games. They did it as well at the 2014 host city election when not the best technical bid, but the bid with the most money and the most powerful host country president won the race. If you still believe that the IOC makes free decisions which are only geared to what is best for the athletes and the Olympic ideals, you're absolutely on the wrong track. Money counts, and political promises. Nothing more and nothing less.

If you could show that money was the sole concern amongst all IOC delegates who cast their votes, then I would accept your reasoning. Until then, you are merely painting an assumption, which although logical, is far too sweeping and simplistic. If money was indeed all that the IOC cared about, could you explain why Moscow, the front-runner in their US$180 million YOG bid failed to grab the games from second-placed Singapore with only a budget of US$75.5 million? Was Moscow any less influential and powerful compared to Singapore, either politically or economically?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ISLAMABAD, April 14, 2008 (AFP) - Pakistan Monday slashed its leg of the Olympic torch relay for security reasons, a senior sports official said, the latest amendment to the world tour which has been dogged by protests.

The torch, which arrives in Pakistan Wednesday on the first stop in its Asian leg of the tour, was supposed to travel through the streets of the capital Islamabad before reaching a stadium for a ceremony.

But the relay will now be confined to the Jinnah Stadium, said senior Pakistan Sports Board official Lieutenant Colonel Baseer Haider Malik.

``The route has been curtailed because of the weather condition and overall security situation,'' Malik told AFP.

``It will now be confined to the stadium,'' he said.

The ceremony is expected to be attended by President Pervez Musharraf who earlier Monday condemned protests that have marred the torch relay, and vowed to maintain security when the flame arrived.

``We have taken all measures to ensure its security,'' Musharraf, who is in China, told students following a speech at a Beijing university.

``There is no one in Pakistan, not one man, who would like to do anything against the interests of China.''

Pakistan has been hit by a wave of bomb blasts -- mostly suicide bombings -- blamed on Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants, killing more than 1,000 people since January 2007, according to an AFP tally.

The flame is arriving in Pakistan after protests over Tibet and human rights marred the European and US legs of its world tour.

Musharraf reiterated his position that Tibet was a part of China and an internal affair that should be handled by Beijing, free of foreign interference.

China is one of Pakistan's closest allies and its largest arms supplier.

I sure hope this doesn't scotch Zainhasan's chance to run a leg of the relay!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you could show that money was the sole concern amongst all IOC delegates who cast their votes, then I would accept your reasoning. Until then, you are merely painting an assumption, which although logical, is far too sweeping and simplistic. If money was indeed all that the IOC cared about, could you explain why Moscow, the front-runner in their US$180 million YOG bid failed to grab the games from second-placed Singapore with only a budget of US$75.5 million? Was Moscow any less influential and powerful compared to Singapore, either politically or economically?

You compare apples with oranges. The Youth Olympic Games are financially hugely less important than the Olympic Games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You compare apples with oranges. The Youth Olympic Games are financially hugely less important than the Olympic Games.

I actually agree with you is like comparing apples and oranges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think the issue is about time. It is about sincerity and true commitment to the cause they are demonstrating for.

The IOC gave the games to Beijing after a fair vote with a fair contest with worthy competitors. You make it sound as thou the IOC sold the games to Beijing in exchange for an improvement in the human rights situation in China.

If you are claiming that the Chinese regime not making the pledges they made wouldn't have made a difference to the vote, then I suggest you are mistaken. Look at what happened to the 2000 bid as a case in point. Beijing made commitments to the Olympic movement which it has reneged upon and it is entirely right that this is highlighted and discussed, whether you or anyone else likes it or not.

And I don't think it matters how long these protestors have been concerned with Tibet. If they believe in the cause, why is there any problem? And I remind you that it is China herself who has brought Tibet back onto the agenda through its own actions. No amount of questioning other people's motives will alter that fact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are claiming that the Chinese regime not making the pledges they made wouldn't have made a difference to the vote, then I suggest you are mistaken. Look at what happened to the 2000 bid as a case in point. Beijing made commitments to the Olympic movement which it has reneged upon and it is entirely right that this is highlighted and discussed, whether you or anyone else likes it or not.

Actually, Beijing did use this card for 2000. "A more open China awaits the Olympics" was the bid's motto.

But 1989 was closer, Sydney had an incredible bid (and it was Australia third consecutive bid), Beijing's bid was not as strong technically as the 2008 one (I do agree that Beijing 2008 was not as good as Paris and Toronto but it was more than decent) and the Chinese were rockies in the bidding process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But 1989 was closer, Sydney had an incredible bid (and it was Australia third consecutive bid), Beijing's bid was not as strong technically as the 2008 one (I do agree that Beijing 2008 was not as good as Paris and Toronto but it was more than decent) and the Chinese were rockies in the bidding process.

All these cons against Beijing in 1993, but yet they still managed to come only within 2 votes from winning. And it seems also interesting, that they were in the lead as well in every round, except of course the last one. The Chinese nearly had it in the palm of their hand, even back then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This torch relay has become just plain stupid. Absolutely lame.

Today, they ran the relay through Islamabad, Pakistan, completely out of public view in an undisclosed location. What is the point of that?

This is lunacy. Things like this send the message that the Olympics and the Torch are divisive, elitist, and undesired by people. This relay should have been scrapped after San Francisco.

It has become a joke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The IOC brass knew even back in 1993 (very likely earlier) with the bidding vote that China was destined to be a major all-around sports power. So of course they knew they could never ignore a nation with a 1.3 billion population that loads of multinational corporations love to tap into that large market, regardless of the human rights abuses.

As far as Singapore winning the first Youth Olympic Games over Moscow, that is indeed comparing apples and oranges. Moscow has had loads of experience in hosting numerous international events with various venues over the decades, and I think those worked against the city. Singapore gets its shot to operate a fresh event with new facilities that will boost the city-state's international sporting profile in the long run. Money is not going to be an issue with the YOG since it's cheap, less financially significant, and gigantism won't be one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Makes one wonder how the news agencies are going to report about Delhi's turn in hosting the Olympic torch relay today (tomorrow where I am now).

Besides, I agree with Durban Sandshark that the YOG and the senior counterpart are apples and oranges here. Seriously, if Moscow had won over Singapore for those Games, then the farce about wanting to spread the Olympic message to "all corners of the world" would have been complete to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...