Winter Olympics Dress Rehearsal Delayed By Weather, Protesters

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By Associated Press
October 18, 2021

The protesters managed to participate the grounds and attempted to scope the Temple of Hera, wherever the ceremonial was being held. They were thrown to the grou

Three activists protesting quality rights abuses successful China sneaked into the archaeological tract wherever the occurrence lighting ceremonial for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics was being held Monday and ran toward the recently lit torch holding a Tibetan emblem and a banner that work "No genocide games."

The protesters managed to participate the grounds and attempted to scope the Temple of Hera, wherever the ceremonial was being held. They were thrown to the crushed by constabulary and detained.

"How tin Beijing beryllium allowed to big the Olympics fixed that they are committing a genocide against the Uyghurs?" 1 protester said, referring to the attraction of Uyghur Muslims successful China's northwest portion of Xinjiang.

The occurrence was lit astatine the birthplace of the past Olympics successful confederate Greece nether dense constabulary security.

With the nationalist excluded amid pandemic information measures, and a cloudless entity implicit the verdant tract of Ancient Olympia, the occurrence was ceremoniously kindled utilizing the rays of the prima earlier being carried disconnected connected a mini torch relay.

Earlier, different protesters were detained by Greek constabulary earlier they could scope the site. Pro-democracy protests besides had breached retired during the lighting ceremonial for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.

Despite wide planetary disapproval of China's quality rights record, the International Olympic Committee has shied distant from the issue, saying it falls extracurricular its remit.

In his code successful the past stadium of Olympia, wherever successful antiquity antheral athletes competed bare during a peculiar truce among their often-warring cities, IOC President Thomas Bach stressed that the modern Games indispensable beryllium "respected arsenic politically neutral ground."

"Only this governmental neutrality ensures that the Olympic Games tin basal supra and beyond the governmental differences that beryllium successful our times," helium said. "The Olympic Games cannot code each the challenges successful our world. But they acceptable an illustration for a satellite wherever everyone respects the aforesaid rules and 1 another."

Tibetan rights activists said successful a property merchandise that China was trying to "sportswash" its quality rights abuses "with the glamour and veneer of respectability the Olympic Games brings."

Commenting connected the protest, the Greek nationalist Olympic committee said that portion it respects state of expression, "it is disappointing that this accepted taste lawsuit has been utilized by a fewer individuals for different purposes."

Beijing volition go the archetypal metropolis to person hosted some wintertime and summertime Olympics.

In a tightly choreographed show soon afterwards, a Greek histrion playing the portion of a pagan priestess knelt to airy the Olympic flame, utilizing a bowl-shaped reflector to absorption the sun's rays connected a fuel-filled torch.

Standing successful beforehand of the fewer remaining columns of the ruined, 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, she offered a symbolic supplication for the past Greek deity of light, Apollo, to airy the flame.

"Mountains autumn silent, birdsong cease," she intoned arsenic a TV drone buzzed overhead and ranks of photographers clicked their shutters.

Shortly later, the protester's shouts were heard.

Yu Zaiqing, the vice president of the Beijing organizing committee, said the Games brought "confidence, warmth and hope" during the pandemic, which archetypal appeared successful China.

"We tin and volition present a streamlined, harmless and splendid Olympic Games to the world," helium said.

Police were overmuch successful grounds astatine and astir the archaeological tract wherever the past Games were held from 776 BC and for much than 1,000 years, until the Christians stamped them out. Anyone heading for the venue had to person an accreditation and walk done checkpoints and metallic detectors.

On Sunday, 2 protesters were detained connected the Acropolis successful Athens trying to rise a banner to gully attraction to quality rights abuses successful China.

The Olympic occurrence volition beryllium taken to Athens and handed implicit to Beijing organizers connected Tuesday astatine the renovated stadium wherever the archetypal modern Olympics were held successful 1896.

The Beijing Winter Games volition tally from Feb. 4-20. Only spectators from mainland China volition beryllium allowed to attend. Everyone astatine the Olympics -- including athletes -- volition beryllium expected to beryllium vaccinated, oregon other person to walk 21 days successful quarantine.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.