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There is a light that sometimes goes out: the Olympic torch protests | Olympic torch

AAre you sort of, sort of, not really into the fact that the Olympics will still be held later this month in Tokyo despite the coronavirus pandemic and the vast majority of the 7.8 billion inhabitants of our planet are not vaccinated, with alarming epidemics all over the world?

If so, you have a friend in Kayoko Takahashi.

According to Tokyo reporterHitachi’s 53-year-old woman attempted to extinguish the Olympic torch flame as she passed through Mito on her way to the Japanese capital on Sunday by shooting him with a water pistol.

“We are opposed to the Olympics! she can be heard screaming in a video that has since gone viral on social media as she aims for the torch. “Stop the Games! “

Apparently, Takahashi’s opposition stems due to the fact that only 14% of the Japanese population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Her efforts to extinguish the flame were ultimately unsuccessful, although she was arrested for “deliberately targeting the runner. [carrying the torch] and interfere with the relay, ”Mito deputy police chief Noriaki Nagatsuka told Vice News.

In Takahashi’s defense, it’s actually difficult to put out an Olympic torch. (Unless you’re a real rainstorm, like the one at the 1976 Montreal Games that managed to extinguish the entire stadium’s gigantic flame.) However, many have tried to do so! And often for political reasons. Others took advantage of the torch’s high media visibility to organize other types of events while leaving the flame itself alone. Here are some notable examples from the last decades.

Rio de Janeiro

As the Olympic Torch Relay entered its home stretch towards Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Games, a young man threw a bucket of water in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to shut it down.

Angra dos Reis, Brazil

The man was not the only one who tried to put out the torch ahead of the 2016 Games in Brazil. As the flame passed through Angra dos Reis, a group of striking teachers – enraged at the Rio state government for funding the Olympics without paying for them for two months – successfully seized it. turn it off as part of their protest.

Voronezh, Russia

Two years earlier on the torch relay in Sochi, a gay rights activist tried to wave a rainbow flag as the flame passed through Voronezh, presumably to draw attention to the Russian state’s oppression of LGBTQ + people. He was attacked and detained by the police for doing so.

London

As the Olympic torch passed through London en route to the 2008 Beijing Games, a protester tried in vain to turn it off using a literal fire extinguisher.

Paris

French protesters success where this fire extinguisher fan failed, however, managing to extinguish the flame at least three times in an attempt to draw attention to the Chinese government’s record of human rights violations in occupied Tibet.

Juneau, Alaska

And finally, we have … bong tubes for Jesus? Yeah! Bong knocks for Jesus. In 2002, an Alaskan high school student held up a “BONG HITS 4 JESUS” banner beside the Olympic Torch Relay as he passed through Juneau on his way to Salt Lake City. His 10-day suspension gave way to a First Amendment legal battle, culminating in a 2007 Supreme Court ruling in favor of school administrators.



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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion