Olympic icon carries hands-off warning

February 15, 2010

The hot Olympic ticket for those without tickets to the Games seems to be a trip down to the Vancouver waterfront to see the four-pronged metal cauldron where the Olympic flame is burning.

Except that heading down to the waterfront means joining tens of thousands of others with the same idea, and obeying the strident instructions from Olympic volunteers trying to herd the horde in the right direction without letting people fall under a bus.

It’s a slow trek through the crowds, with disappointment at the end. The flame, symbol of the Games, is half-hidden behind hoardings and a tall chain-link fence, both to protect the public and to stop anti-Games protesters getting their hands on it.

Organizers promise to look at ways to replace the ugly fence with something somewhat more photogenic, but right now the message seems to match the sign: “No Trespassing.”

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