9 April 2008

Torch

How much aviation fuel? How many hotel beds? How many police officers? How many stewards? And what an utter waste of time! The transcontinental journey of the Olympic flame. What a load of bollocks! What is it supposed to mean? Maybe once the Olympic spirit was about African hill peasants coming down from the mountains to win marathons and about dedicated steelworkers or secretaries filling their spare time with Olympic training regimes - having a dream and going for it.

Now it's all about sponsorship and urban renewal, political profiles and performance enhancing drugs, Nike shoes and Tag Heur timing, logos and TV interviews. It stinks.

It was Nazi Germany that first conceived the idea of a torch relay from Olympia for the Berlin summer games of 1936 with their classical symbolism and Hitler's transparent posturing to present himself to the world as an international statesman. Why are we continuing that cynical tradition?

Regarding the protesters. Yes. It is true that China has enslaved Tibet and abused many of its people but no country that has ever hosted the games could claim to have been politically spotless. The main thing that makes my blood boil about the absurd torch relay is the very unnecessary waste that the scheme has caused - all those air miles, those massive hotel bills etc.. Besides, it is perhaps ironically significant that the flame is regularly being doused. Wasn't the whole idea that it would be the same flame - the flame first lit in Olympia - that would circle the globe. It's all a sick joke.
Konstantinos Kondylis - the first torch runner in 1936

10 comments:

  1. It's cheating to take an airplane-- isn't it? The flame being doused regularly is a bit weird, too.

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  2. I think the whole concept is flawed and that the time has come to designate a permanent home for the Games, rather than different countries spending a fortune on hosting it once. The amount of money which is being spent on 2012 in the UK is immoral, not to mention all the disruption to the lives and livelihood of people in the area concerned.Then there's the fact that other parts of the country are losing out on funding they would otherwise have received for local sport which has instead been retained to be spent on the south east for the Games.

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  3. The whole process is as corrupt as any banana republic you care to think of.
    There is no Olympic spirit or ideal.

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  4. When I learned that it wasn't the same flame, I stopped watching the opening ceremony. Looooong ago. It just doesn't make sense.

    You're right of course, it's needless waste.

    I can think of oodles of other places to better spend that kind of cash.

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  5. goddess of clarity3:30 pm

    So I guess I have to confess. I am an Olympic junkie. Every Olympiad I get swept up in the spectacle and the competition; the athletes who train for most of their lives in obscurity for this one chance to shine on the world stage.

    The torch relay, though, is twaddle. A public relations coup and nothing else.

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  6. Or in this case Goddess of Clarity, a public relations disaster!

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  7. Did you hear about what happened when they released the doves in Atlanta Georgia, the year the Summer Olympics were held there? All the American men were dressed in sleeveless flannel shirts, denim overalls and shit-stomper boots. As soon as the doves flew, they all drew out their rifles and began blasting away. No one told them it was a global thing...they just thought dove season had come in early. hahaha

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  8. The fine people of San Francisco needed that torch relay because they were running out of things to protest.

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  9. Those protesters were a bunch of horrible liberal tossers. But, yes, I agree, what a load of old tosh the whole thing was and is!
    And can I just say .... Free Tibet? Fuck off!

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  10. EX Blue Peter presenter Connie Huq...... my heart bleeds for you!! You've never been so famous!!

    FoX

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