Olympic Torch to Affect Everest Expeditions

A friend living in Pakistan phoned yesterday. He´s a guide and was pretty chuffed to have successfully summited Everest earlier this year. In conversation he made a comment about the Chinese wanting to take the Olympic Torch to the summit of Everest in 2008, and that they were planning a trial next spring. I dug a bit deeper to find a juicy story! The China Tibet Mountaineering Association have indeed announced plans for both a trial and live relay of the torch to Beijing via the summit of Everest in 2007 and 2008 respectively. What´s most interesting however, is the plan to increase the costs to decrease the numbers of expeditions to Everest on the Chinese side of the mountain in 2007, and presumably 2008. It isn´t clear exactly why the association should do this, but speculation is that they are worried that should anything go wrong, the high tech world that Everest Base Camp becomes each spring will be able to instantaneously transmit the ´bad´ news around the world, bringing shame on the Olympics organisers and China as hosting country!Sounds like an over-reaction, but a recent incident which saw a Tibetan Nun shot and killed by a Chinese border patrol whilst she was crossing a high pass on Cho Oyu last month was filmed by climbers. The film was quickly disseminated and resulted in many governments and national mountaineering associations holding China responsible for the incident. For the technically minded, apparently a burning torch has once before been carried to the summit of Everest. It comprised an oxygen bottle and an igniter to re-light the flame in the event of gusting wind. The origins of the Olympic Torch: Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, when a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was reintroduced at the Olympics in 1928, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since. The modern torch relay was introduced by Carl Diem, president of the Organisation Committee for the Berlin Games of 1936, as part of an effort to turn the games into a glorification of the Third Reich. Despite its origin, the torch ceremony is still practised as of 2006. Source: Phayul & Wikipedia ———————————————————————– If you have any news worth reporting please contact Matt – matt@planetfear.com / 0114 2969114 ———————————————————————–