Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Torch Relay runs into controversy

‘It’s about ordinary people who’ve done extraordinary things.’
Paul Deighton LOCOG on The Torch Relay.

Now something that really is extraordinary is the fact that a genuine Olympic Torch is for sale on eBay and just went for over £100,000. There are more on there now in case you’re feeling flush. LOCOG charged Olympic Torch bearers around £200 to purchase their individual torches. This was a first or so I believe, for an organising committee to profit from the torches.

Rightly or wrongly, it’s not the greatest example to set for the so-called inspirational people Paul Deighton describes. But if you’re going to make £100,000 from your little piece of history and pay off your mortgage in austere times, maybe you really are inspirational. You’re certainly entrepreneurial. One torch on there appears to be raising money for a cancer charity. Another torch is just a picture of a torch ¬and doesn’t exist at all. Be careful what you bid for, and all that. I just hope the communities who nominated the runners don't mind...

There will be more press about this issue, I’m sure – check out the Independent for more information. All that keeps springing to my mind are the Olympic values: Excellence, Friendship and Respect. Pierre de Coubertin would be spinning in his grave.

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