March 27, 2009
The International Olympic Committee decided to end the globetrotting torch relay, discontinuing an event that began with the Athens Games in 2004 and was used again by the organizers of the Beijing Games this past August. For future games, the torch will only tour the country where the games are being hosted.
After the debacle that was the Beijing Olympics torch relay, this makes utmost sense. The picture above is from a stop in London on the torch relay's jaunt last summer. Does that pictures scream Olympic spirit to you? Does the Olympic motto of faster, higher, stronger pop into your mind when looking at that image? Me neither.
The torch relay's run through various countries did little to promote the Olympic ideals; in fact, it ended up trouncing on them. Instead of the world coming together to celebrate sports, which is what happened at the 2008 Olympics, the world came together to yell at each other during the torch relay. Cities had to devote their police forces to controlling the crowds, and for what? So Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone can get some publicity with the torch? Please.
The IOC doesn't always use the strongest common sense, but this is one of the times they hit the nail on the head. Making the torch relay an event for the host country only is the right thing to do.