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Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay


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Stopped in the Olympic Superstore today. They've got some limited stock of nice Torch hoodies...but no men's small for little me.

But I also saw the "replica torches"....they are tiny! Like less than 20cm tall for the actual "torch." Not worth the money to my mind...unless there's gonna be a larger version one later.

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Stopped in the Olympic Superstore today. They've got some limited stock of nice Torch hoodies...but no men's small for little me.

But I also saw the "replica torches"....they are tiny! Like less than 20cm tall for the actual "torch." Not worth the money to my mind...unless there's gonna be a larger version one later.

I think the "replica torches" are awesome. I want to get one ... but they are a bit expensive!

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Security can't prevent idiots from protesting

Why ruin other people's fun experiences?

By Michael Smyth, The Province

November 1, 2009

I took my wife and kids to see the Olympic torch relay and we got so close to the sacred flame that I swear I could have reached out grabbed the thing myself.

Not that I had any desire to be body-slammed by one of the hundreds of cops around, but I mention this to illustrate a point: If some anarchist knucklehead is determined to disrupt the torch relay, it's not exactly Mission Impossible.

Which makes me wonder if the overwhelming security apparatus attached to the relay is really worth it. There were hundreds of police officers assigned to the relay launch, a helicopter whirring overhead, a SWAT team assembled inside the legislature, bomb-sniffing dogs prowling the route and even those men-in-black types wearing earpieces and talking into their sleeves.

I think it was the most security I'd seen since the Vancouver APEC summit a decade ago. And they still couldn't stop the mob of usual suspects from partly spoiling the party.

About 100 anti-Olympic "zombies" -- their word, not mine -- decided their orderly protest wasn't enough and blocked a road near the lieutenant-governor's house Friday night. That forced the relay route to be juggled, ruining the event for hundreds of spectators and about six torch-bearers who settled for an abbreviated flame pass-along instead of running their promised 300-metre segments.

Very nice. Spoil someone's experience-of-a-lifetime to make some ill-defined point and get your selfish moment on TV. Some idiots even threw marbles at mounted police in an apparent effort to frighten or injure their horses.

Sadly, this is the kind of garbage that $1-billion worth of Olympic security won't stop -- though police hinted they're aware of larger threats.

"In past Olympic events, there has been terrorist activities," said Sgt. Grant Hamilton of Victoria city police. Still seems like overkill to me.

That said, don't let the heavy security or threat of protesting party-poopers stop you from getting out and experiencing the torch relay. My family had a great time connecting with friends and neighbours, waving little flags and joining an impromptu chorus of "O Canada."

This is what the Olympic experience is really about and it felt good. It struck me this was a genuine Canadian cultural celebration, not just the "two-week party" that critics like to trash.

Expensive? Yes, which is why scrutiny of the costs must continue. Will politicians milk it for all it's worth? Sure, Gordon Campbell is dreaming about his "Olympic bounce" in the polls.

But the 2010 Games should be judged on more than just profits, losses, ticket sales and tourism stats. As Syracuse University professor Rick Burton wrote: "Evaluations of the Olympic Games bidders and hosts should not be based solely on costs and cost overruns, but the holistic outcomes generated. Evaluations must go beyond dollars and scratch at what hosting the Games really does to a city."

That includes intangible benefits like increased volunteerism, inspiring kids to get active, greater awareness of disabled people and their strengths and plain old Canadian pride. Or, like I experienced, just watching the wonder in your children's eyes.

Get out and see the torch relay -- security, protesters and all -- before you decide if it's all really worth it.

© Copyright © The Province

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I agree security needs to be a bit more bold, and the pricetag of the security's costs isn't worth it if they don't prevent people from blocking the route. There needs to be a back to basics get tough on delinquency drive on part of the 2010 security to say "if you don't get out of the way of our designated area, we will move you". I'm very tired with Canada as a whole being afraid of taking on a bit of controversy because it might ruin the perfect idea of cultural freedom. They need to understand this isn't just about the flame or people's moments, it's about SAFETY FROM PHYSICAL HARM. Some of those idiots even had projectiles hurling at mounted police. Small rocks and marbles, yes, but they were STILL projectiles. Even after all of the media fluff on Thursday from activists swearing up and down they would stay in one area, not impede, be peaceful, etc., look what happened.

Just like I said, the crazy leftist kids and their holdover-hippie leaders in BC will go INSANE whenever they get the chance. Protesting is just what they do for fun regardless of the issue and they never actually follow up on any of the causes they claim to support. They will make up any story about staying in one area, being peaceful, etc. etc. but they will always end up being aggressive and it's not worth it to let them disrupt events and compromise the safety of the relay staff and the onlookers. It's better to tackle a few of the object-throwing aggressors to the pavement now and face the scrutiny and debate over those actions than to actually have some overzealous protester seriously injure, or heaven forbid KILL somebody. Then the police would REALLY face public outrage.

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On Monday a week parcel came in the mail from Coke. It's a t-shirt for all their torchbearers--made from recycled pop bottles. Very cool!

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So far I'm impressed with what Coke's done. Check out iCoke.ca if you've not done so.

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VALDOSTA -- Green teen Crystal Hardy was chosen by the Coca-Cola Co. to carry the Olympic torch at the upcoming Winter Games in Calgary, Canada, on January 18, 2010.

A student dually enrolled at Valdosta State and Georgia Southern universities, Hardy was selected based on her community service efforts, which have focused on recycling and environmental sustainability.

The Dublin native co-founded the Laurens County Green Teens -- a group of teenagers who used interactive skits and engaging messages to teach elementary school children about the importance of caring for the environment. Her group also collected PET 1 bottles, which were recycled and used to manufacture carpet. Funds collected from the program's recycling efforts are funneled back into Laurens County Schools.

Just posting this for the clanger in the opening par.

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We had news video updates from Greece on the progress of the 2010 Torch Relay, well Vancouver is doing it as well:

Day 1 Olympic Torch Relay: Victoria, British Columbia:

Day 2 - Olympic Torch Relay: Cowichan Valley to Nanaimo, British Columbia:

Day 3 - Olympic Torch Relay: Nanaimo to Tofino on Vancouver Island:

Day 4 Olympic Torch Relay: Qualicum Beach, British Columbia:

Day 5 Olympic Torch Relay: Haida Gwaii, British Columbia:

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