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Ioc Warned Bocog On Relay


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I can't believe I didn't notice this story until just now. Very interesting:

IOC told China to ditch relay

Glenda Korporaal and Paul Maley | April 21, 2008

CHINESE officials were repeatedly told by the International Olympic Committee that it did not want a global torch relay because of concerns about security and the cost for participating countries.

Olympic sources told The Australian the IOC was cool on China's proposal -- which had backing from Western sponsors eager for publicity -- for a grand international relay from when it was first raised during Beijing's bid in 2001, because of concerns about the event becoming too large and unwieldy.

The IOC's concerns were also made clear after a review of the incident-free 2004 international torch relay for the Athens Games showed cost and security issues were too high.

The IOC's fears have proved well founded, with clashes involving pro-Tibet protesters as the torch has made its way through London, Paris, San Francisco, New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

It arrives in Canberra on Wednesday. Security fences are in place ahead of Thursday's relay in the city, which is expected to attract thousands of pro-China students determined to smother any Tibet protests.

Despite years of opposition, Australia's senior IOC member Kevan Gosper said, the IOC executive board eventually gave in to pressure from Beijing Games organisers and torch relay sponsors including Coca-Cola and Samsung, who wanted to go ahead with a grand international route to create a wave of positive publicity in the lead-up to the opening ceremony on August 8.

"The recommendation after the Athens torch relay was that while it was considered to be a success and attractive to sponsors, it was a big demand on the national Olympic committees and could also expose the torch to some difficulties," Mr Gosper said.

"But the sponsors of the relay and Beijing Olympic organisers approached the IOC's executive board proposing another torch relay aimed at picking up all continents."

Mr Gosper, who will watch the torch relay in Canberra, said the IOC's co-ordination commission was the least enthusiastic about the relay while its marketing arm was the most enthusiastic.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has warned protesters to keep their demonstrations peaceful, lest the relay descend into "football hooliganism".

"I am very concerned that unless people turn up with that attitude, we'll have the Olympic torch equivalent of football hooliganism." He said Australian officials had been in contact with the Chinese Government, but emphasised security would remain the exclusive responsibility of Australian police, with no role for Chinese guards who were labelled "thugs" following a confrontation in London.

"Obviously, there's been co-ordination, co-operation, but again I underline this point: allthe security arrangements in the world will not count for a great deal unless people turn up with an attitude which is, 'We will peacefully express our point of view, but we won't cause trouble, we won't impose our view on anyone else and we certainly won't be violent'," Mr Smith said.

The relay will commence in the parliamentary triangle and pass through the city centre and past the War Memorial, which has provoked disquiet among the RSL. Kevin Rudd, who was officially pencilled in to receive the torch at Parliament House, has since announced he will be in Sydney on the day.

Canberra organiser Ted Quinlan denied reports protest groups would be mustered into different areas to avoid clashes.

"However, we've consulted with some groups about where they might have the best vantage point," he said.

"We have encouraged groups that intend to be vocal to stay away from the War Memorial."

In a letter published in The Australian today, China's ambassador to Australia, Zhang Junsai, says he hopes "the loudest voice we hear is the sound of cheering voices to welcome the Olympic flame".

Mr Zhang "sincerely hoped" there would not be a repeat of the violence seen overseas by "some minority groups determined to dampen the Spirit of the Olympic Flame".

Veteran Olympic commentator Ed Hula has slammed the IOC for caving in to China's demands for a relay. In an editorial in his Around the Rings Olympic newsletter, Mr Hula said the IOC's "misreading" of the political sensitivities of the torch relay route would cost millions of dollars in extra security for host cities.

The Australian

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sounds like a case of fat cats being too greedy, and another case of Chinese officials wanting everything to be "BIG".....just look at those venues! Freud would have quite a bit to say about it!

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I'm wondering if this just an attempt by the IOC to save face?

No it's not.

The IOC has never been keen on the global torch relay thing: debrief from Athens was that it was a logistics nightmare and a very costly event. It was a recommendation of the Athens 2004 Coordination Commission not to stage the torch relay on such a global scale in the future.

To be honest, I don't thing the IOC foresaw the whole PR nightmare.

BOCOG insisted on having a global torch relay.

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No it's not.

The IOC has never been keen on the global torch relay thing: debrief from Athens was that it was a logistics nightmare and a very costly event. It was a recommendation of the Athens 2004 Coordination Commission not to stage the torch relay on such a global scale in the future.

To be honest, I don't thing the IOC foresaw the whole PR nightmare.

BOCOG insisted on having a global torch relay.

heh well if thats the case then the BOCOG have no one to blame but them selves its a shame though that it might hurt future relays

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No it's not.

The IOC has never been keen on the global torch relay thing: debrief from Athens was that it was a logistics nightmare and a very costly event. It was a recommendation of the Athens 2004 Coordination Commission not to stage the torch relay on such a global scale in the future.

To be honest, I don't thing the IOC foresaw the whole PR nightmare.

BOCOG insisted on having a global torch relay.

Well, they couldn't pull out on the half way, could they? Just the let the nightmare go past quickly.

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Well, they couldn't pull out on the half way, could they? Just the let the nightmare go past quickly.

Of course not. It would have been even worse but it's still quite sad that neither BOCOG nor the IOC saw it coming...

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Of course not. It would have been even worse but it's still quite sad that neither BOCOG nor the IOC saw it coming...

Because they did'nt know just one week before the torch relay started there were protests in Tibet. Maybe there were only less large protests during the torch relay.

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I can't believe I didn't notice this story until just now. Very interesting:

It's indeed very interesting. In the Athens relay there were only 4 restdays, now there are a lot more. That's I think also a recommendation.

But about the costs, if BOCOG asked a NOC if they can come with the flame to their country and they say yes, they know they will pay the price.

If the IOC can think about rules for the costs, and if they begin to plan very early maybe it's an idea for next time.

And maybe only a relay as Sydney had, a few countries of the own continent. Less large, but a international part in it.

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No it's not.

The IOC has never been keen on the global torch relay thing: debrief from Athens was that it was a logistics nightmare and a very costly event. It was a recommendation of the Athens 2004 Coordination Commission not to stage the torch relay on such a global scale in the future.

To be honest, I don't thing the IOC foresaw the whole PR nightmare.

BOCOG insisted on having a global torch relay.

Why is there much-Ado-about-nothing on the torch relay issue when the sponsors aren't complaining?

The cost is bore by sponsors like Coca cola, Samsung,etc as in the case of Beijing 2008.

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Why is there much-Ado-about-nothing on the torch relay issue when the sponsors aren't complaining?

The cost is bore by sponsors like Coca cola, Samsung,etc as in the case of Beijing 2008.

The security cost is not covered by the sponsors...

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well, I'm sure LOCOG is breathing a sigh of relief now that their own seafaring Ship of Dreams (or whatever it was to be named) was cancelled.

You mean the FriendShip? :wub::mellow:

Wonder if the FIFA would have more balls than the IOC just in case that China gets the 2018 World Cup (which i'm sure they will not )

China's chances of getting the World Cup must be a lot lower now. But then again, if they stage a technically faultless Games and bring in lots of money for the IOC, Sepp and his cronies may conveniently forget the shambolic, chilling build up and award their event to the Chinese anyway.

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You mean the FriendShip? :wub::mellow:

China's chances of getting the World Cup must be a lot lower now. But then again, if they stage a technically faultless Games and bring in lots of money for the IOC, Sepp and his cronies may conveniently forget the shambolic, chilling build up and award their event to the Chinese anyway.

Plus, there's NO SUCH thing as a FIFA torch, and the CHinese team, being hosts, wouldn't have to venture from its shores to qualify; thus, minimal exposure.

Oh, also, the 2018 Site Selection bid by Hong Kong for 2011 would, by extension, would probably be thrown into the trash can now; and Durban can put its campaign efforts to a minimum.

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It says it all really that we are having these discussions. Was it not inevitable that there would be some dissent, even without the Tibet issue re-emerging?

I also have to say that I don't think the reference to football hooliganism is either relevant or necessary.

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Why is there much-Ado-about-nothing on the torch relay issue when the sponsors aren't complaining?

Well, they're nopt getting what they hoped for either. A feature accompanying the report I posted at the start of this thread also says:

...

Sponsors are now feeling the heat, with protesters holding banners outside the annual meeting of ther Coca-Cola company, which has sponsored the Olympics since 1928, protesting against its support. When the torch goes to Nagano, Japan, after Canberra, the logos of Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lenovo will not appear on official vehicles escorting the torch, the companies say.

...

The Australian

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Why is there much-Ado-about-nothing on the torch relay issue when the sponsors aren't complaining?

The cost is bore by sponsors like Coca cola, Samsung,etc as in the case of Beijing 2008.

Well, here you go, just fresh from BBC web site: cost for tax payer of the London leg of the Beijing Torch Relay? About £750,000!

£750,000 to carry a burning stick from Wembley to the O2!

(I am still waiting for the price tag of the French part of the relay which spectacularly succeeded in getting China mad at France)

Another smart and informed comment James?

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Rogge has been missing his balls for years...

I respectfully disagree with this. Rogge has been a far more active IOC president then previous ones have been. He certainly has not tolerated BOOC's little Rainbow Tour antics for very long. He certainly wasn't blind or deaf to the issues and has made it clear the BOOC isn't living up to the promises made to secure the Games. On the other hand, he wasn't directly involved in the decision to give the Games to the Chinese, that was a nice little parting gift from JAS and has clearly been the gift along with the SLC bid mess been the headache that keep screaming for Excendrin.

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