San Francisco torch carriers condemn disruptions of Olympic flame relay
San Francisco torchbearers Kortney Clemons and Dean Karnazes denounced
yesterday the attempts to disrupt the Olympic flame relay in Paris as they
attended an exhibition of "Lucky Cloud" torch in the backdrop of Golden State
For 27-year-old Kortney Clemons, a paralympian for the Beijing Games
in September, the Olympic flame is sacred and the arrival of the flame is a time
to celebrate but not protest for any reason.
"I am so excited to be part of
the torch relay. It would be perfect relay without any disruption and it's a
great time to celebrate for everyone upon the arrival of the Olympic flame "
said Clemons, who lost his right leg in Iraq war in February 2005.
to wrap up our differences and celebrate the occasion. It's not in compliance
with Olympic spirit to binding politics with sports," added Clemons.
started training on sprint months after losing his leg in a bomb explosion, but
he has never surrendered to the cruel twist of fate. He won his place in Beijing
Paralympics on June for 100m and is looking forward to Beijing journey.
he heard someone tried to grab the torch from Chinese wheelchair torch bearer
Jin Jing in Paris on Monday, Clemons condemned the action inhumane and
When Jin Jing was waiting for second runner Anthony Ricardo, former
French national basketball player, several Tibetan separatists threw themselves
at Jin and her two companions. Nearly knocked off from her wheelchair, Jin
protected the torch from the mob.
Clemons believed that he was selected as
torchbearer for his efforts of never giving up hopes.
Dean Karnazes, a keen
marathon lover, has just completed 50 marathons, in 50 states in 50 days. Dean
has tried to encourage people to adopt healthier, more environment-friendly
lifestyle. For his efforts, Time magazine named him one of the "100 Most
Influential People in the World".
"For me Olympic flame stands for hope,
inspiration, optimism and Olympic spirit, so the flame is carrying an important
message to world," said Karnazes, adding the Olympic flame is uniting people
together instead of dividing.
"No one is entitled to destruction of the
spread of Olympic flame. It stands for freedom and pride, it's a time for people
coming together for harmony, but not confrontation," he said.
bearers were excited with today's run and are expecting a great relay in their
hometown, the sole relay destination in North America.
The flame is making
its sixth stopover of global journey in San Francisco before heading for Buenos