Olympic torch controversy

The World

The relay on TV shows that the torch has an entourage who has followed the torch around the world. This British TV host who carried the torch for a bit says no one seemed to know who they were, and they kept pushing her hand up. It makes sense when you know who the men are: they are the cream of China’s special police. There are about 70 of them, China’s Olympic flame guardian. Their job is simple: to not let the flame go out and protect the torch carrier. There was more turmoil in Paris yesterday, when the torch was extinguished three times, and then relit. Tradition holds that the flame is lit in Greece first, and keeping the flame alive is a tradition. Lighting the torch in Greece and sending it on a relay came for the first time in Berlin. Hitler declared that sporting chivalrous contests helped with global diplomacy and therefore the flame should never expire. But sporting symbolism can run second to political realities, as the Chinese are finding out

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