sharing the Olympic spirit

Olympic values not to be buried under politics
Updated: 2008-04-09 11:15


OTTAWA -- President of the organizing committee for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games John Furlong on Tuesday condemned the attempt to politicize the Olympic event.

"The Olympics should not be about politics, it should be about sport," he said at an interview with Canadian newspaper The Global and Mail.

"The torch relay is supposed to be about introducing the world to the Olympic values," he said.

Noting the relay can have a good effect on people from the world, Furlong said any attempt "to bury that message under other stuff that has nothing to do with the Olympics is wrong."

He also criticized those trying to sabotage the torch relay in London and Paris, saying the television images on their moves made him both ill and angry.

In anticipation of the 2010 Games, Furlong said the Vancouver Organizing Committee has planned to stage an "ambitious" torch relay which is expected to cover some 35,000 km within Canada, the longest-ever torch relay within a host country in the Olympic history.

He hoped that the 2010 relay will be used to bring the Olympic Games "to the front porch of every child in Canada."

"The whole point is to take it to places it was never expected to go," and it would be a shame if someone attempts to sabotage these efforts, he said.

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