Olympic Torch Extinguished In Paris

Free Tibet
CNN.com is reporting today that the Olympic Torch has been extinguished during the Paris leg of it’s around-the-world relay, as protestors lined the streets to demonstrate against the Chinese Government’s recent actions in Tibet.

According to the story, the Torch was extinguished and relit three times before along the route. The first time protestors near the River Seine forced Olympic officials to put out the flame, and then board a bus. Later, an athlete in a wheelchair was forced to douse the flame when demonstrators shouted at her along the route. The third and final incident came when officials saw the flame approaching a bridge where protestors were waiting for it’s arrival.

Back-up flames accompany the Torch on it’s ritual relay, and the word is that the relay has once again resumed and was back on schedule. Todays demonstrations follow an equally challenging leg through London yesterday. The article notes that it is difficult to know for sure how many protestors were along the route, but their numbers were in the thousands. Some of those are believed to be Chinese supporters of the Olympics however.

This latest disruption of the Torch and protests against China come as a result of the recent unrest in Tibet where the Chinese military used force to put down a series of demonstrations there. The country has been on lock down over the past several weeks, with foreign press being expelled, and no new visas being issued. Rumors persist that dozens, if not hundreds, of Tibetans have been killed in the past few weeks.

I have a feeling that the Chinese can expect to see a lot more of these protests as the Torch continues it’s run. They can take what ever measures they feel are necessary at home, but abroad, these events are going to continue to happen. In a month’s time, we’ll see a team of Chinese climbers on the summit of Everest, smiling ear to ear as they hold the Torch at the Top of the World. Those images will be beamed around the globe, but few will realize the measures that China has taken to insure that they not only reach the summit, but do so without anyone being there to protest.

Perhaps we should start a fund to convince Maxut and Vassily to make a daring, commando style climb to meet the Chinese at the summit, with a huge “Free Tibet” flag. Whose with me?

Kraig Becker

7 thoughts on “Olympic Torch Extinguished In Paris”

  1. I’d have to be there in principle too. 😉

    Maxut and Vassily were the two Kazahk climbers who made a mad dash to the summit last year. I’d love to see them pull something like that again when the Torch Team arrives. Of course, we’d probably never see them again though.

  2. I saw this yesterday as well and thought it was a pretty elaborate protest. If they don’t cancel the San Fran leg, it’s going to be crazy tomorrow.

  3. Someone could always land a Helicopter on Everest again..

    Perhaps Bear Grylls could Paraglide on his “Free Tibet” glider..

    Nothing is out of the question yet. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if a flag was planted last year.

    I do find it odd that China has put up commnication towers to talk to the world, but won’t let the climbers talk without personnel present. Do they think we are stupid?

    Another note: It is being mentioned that the Torch Guards are Chinese Police..yeah, that are going into every country and manhandling the protesters? What Free government allowed this? Can our military walk into China and touch someone without an international outcry? Bet the guards are glad THAT came out in the Press yesterday. I am sure it makes them fel a bit more safe..

  4. A helicopter at the summit would be awesome. I’d love to see someone pull that on the Chinese. Maybe a few planes flying in the background with giant banners. Unfortunately it probably won’t happen, but it would be fun! 🙂

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