Olympics, Summer

Worst. Olympic. Torch. Relay. Ever.

4/10/08 in Olympics, Summer   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect


I know many of you, by which I mean none of you, were eagerly awaiting my post on the Olympic Torch relay. How many protesters would be beaten up? How many arrests would be made? How many times would 100% get maced?
 
But as Rick from Deadspin pointed out, all the anticipation that this would be the awesomest, most spectacular protest in the history of mankind fell just a tad bit short. In fact, it was the worst Olympic Torch Relay in history.

That wasn't the protesters' fault, in fact they may have been too good. There were so many protesters where the relay was supposed to start on the Embarcadero that the authorities said "You know what, screw this. We give up."



So what did they do with the torch? They secretly stuck it on a boat (no one, not even the SF media had any idea where it was for hours), floated it somewhere north of where all the protesters were, put it on a bus, and drove it around the least populated part of San Francisco, which is the Presidio. The Presidio is also the absolute opposite side of the city from where all the protesters were.

Now some of you may say, that's probably for the best, that way there were no mass beatings by the cops and the psycho para-military Chinese torch guards like there were in London and Paris. Sure, that's true. But it was also gutless beyond belief.

What China and the SF authorities did was the equivalent of the old schoolyard fight that never happens. China and SF authorities were the kid who picks a fight with someone at school and sets up a 3pm throw down time behind the bleachers while talking all kinds of trash. But when 3pm rolls around, the kid who originally picked the fight is 5 miles away hiding under his bed like a coward with his thumb stuck in his mouth crying. He's all talk, no guts whatsoever.

I'm not saying I wanted to see people get into fights or get arrested. But I wanted to see the emotions that the torch would bring out in people on both sides of the line, and hell, I also just wanted to see the damn torch. And so did a number of other people, people who came from as far away as LA, New York, and even China. I don't know why you'd come from China to see your Olympic torch in America, but some idiots actually did that. They deserved to at least see it and be severely made fun of.

Instead, the torch apparently went through 70+ torch bearers' hands as they sat on a bus seat - or hopefully they at least ran on a treadmill inside the bus - all while masses of people who desperately wanted to see the torch saw nothing.

In fact, only two things made today worthwhile. One was that there were people all set to rickroll the torch, and two was that Herschel Walker was a torch bearer. I'd like to imagine he tried to convince authorities that he could singlehandedly run the torch across the whole city. And then subsequently be traded to Dallas for 12 players.

So that's your torch relay in a nutshell. A lot of nothing, with visions of Herschel Walker hurdling protesters. Oh, what could have been.

More Photos from Yesterday's Olympic Non-Torch Non-Relay in San Francisco
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

4/10/08   |   kantwistaye   |   4215 respect

wrote:
Yeah, raise awareness of the hardships of Tibetan monks and Yak-milk dairy farmers while our own countrymen die needlessly in Iraq and members of our own government torture prisoners.

Get your sh*t together, hippies.

I would agree with that too.  At least we have a distinct choice this November though, and hopefully we're smart enough to use it.

4/10/08   |   Jon   |   5 respect

wrote:
Yeah, raise awareness of the hardships of Tibetan monks and Yak-milk dairy farmers while our own countrymen die needlessly in Iraq and members of our own government torture prisoners.

Get your sh*t together, hippies.

I guess you didn't hear about the hundreds of people arrested in San Francisco on the 5-year anniversary of the war. Believe me, nothing in this city goes unprotested. There's plenty of paper for signs to go around.

4/10/08   |   kantwistaye   |   4215 respect

The fact that the IOC is considering just cancelling the torch relay really says it all.  I hope it goes on for both the lucky athletes who get to take part and so protesters are allowed to continue to protest and raise awareness as long as they do so within reason.