Vancouver 2010 Games torch relay to stay in Canada

Wed Aug 6, 2008 3:30am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics will not stage an international torch relay to avoid any potential worldwide protests, the Games chief John Furlong said on Wednesday.

"The torch relay will be announced at the end of this year. It will only be in Canada," Furlong said of the 35,000 kilometer domestic relay that will last 106 days.

"We see this as a way for every Canadian to come face to face with the Games," he told an IOC session.

The IOC have decided to review the torch relay after the Beijing 2008 Games international leg turned into a weeks-long demonstration by activists against China's human rights record and its policies in Sudan's Darfur region and Tibet.

Major violent demonstrations marred the London and Paris legs of the relay while protests were also held in several other cities.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)