August 6, 2008

2012 Olympic Torch to Stay in Britain

Olympic officials say in light of the controversy surrounding the world tour of the Beijing Games' torch, the 2012 Olympic torch will remain in Great Britain.

The London Olympic Organizing Committee proposed the idea of bringing the Olympic torch directly to Britain following its ceremonial lighting in Olympia, Greece, in order to avoid potential demonstrations and embrace the roots of the ceremony, The Times of London said Wednesday.

Committee leaders want the torch to be within 30 minutes of every individual living in Britain during its ceremonial tour in four years time, the newspaper said.

The change for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London comes after portions of the Beijing Games' torch relay were beset by individuals demonstrating against China's alleged hostilities in Tibet.

Former International Olympic Committee Vice President Dick Pound said limiting the torch relay to the host's native land was a good idea following China's alleged mishandling of the international relay.

"The risks were obvious and should have been assessed more closely. The result was that there was a crisis," he told the Times. "There should be a resolution to do away with the international portion of the torch relay."