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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China’s Olympic Legacy: No More International Torch Relays

March 29, 2009

Wall Street Journal
March 28, 2009

In the run-up to last year’s Summer Olympic Games
in Beijing, China staged the most ambitious
international torch relay to date, a month-long
tour spanning six continents, following by a
three-month, zig-zagging journey through more than a hundred Chinese cities.

But the relay got off to a notoriously bad start.
In London and Paris, protestors tried to snatch
the Olympic flame and unfurled Tibetan flags and
banners criticizing China’s human rights record.
In San Francisco and other subsequent cities, the
relay routes were often changed at the last
minute to avoid further embarrassing confrontations.

Now, the International Olympic Committee has
called for an end to international torch relays
ahead of future Olympics, starting with next
year’s Winter Games in Vancouver. Organizers of
the London Summer Olympics in 2012 had already
said they had no plans to stage an international torch event.

"I think when the torch relay is inside the host
country there is more control," said IOC director
Gilbert Felli, according to the BBC.

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