Shenzhen Olympic Torch Relay, The Corner The Relay Forgot

Author xlxmarketing 8.5.2008. | 22:27

The Olympic Torch came to Shenzhen, China today, although try telling that to the crowd of 50,000-60,000 people who gathered eagerly at a street corner in Nanshan, A suburb of Shenzhen, to watch the Olympic Torch pass.

happy olympics torch spectator

An unprecedented number of people turned out to see the torch pass in Shenzhen.

For many of the people who gathered at the major Shenzhen intersection, which was to be one of the major corners of the circuit the torch was supposed to follow the whole exercise turned out to be a disappointing game of ‘where’s the Olympic Torch?’.

It would come to a surprise to no-one that the people of China have adopted the Olympic Games wholeheartedly. The people of Shenzhen are no exception

The opportunity to see the torch up close and personal was too good for people to pass up.

Many people rushed to reserve the best spots on the route with many people from the Nanshan District saving a space on the corner of Binhe Road and Houhai flyover, where the torch bearers were supposed to turn a corner onto the second half of the circuit to work their way back to the center of the city.

Their wait turned out to be a long one, the central government delayed the start of the Shenzhen Olympic Torch relay six hours because of weather delays on top of Mount Everest

spectator with flag spectators securing a good vantage spot

Spectators rushed to the corner of the Shenzhen Olympic Torch relay circuit only to be disappointed

By 10am there were some hot people around and street vendors were doing a ripping trade in bottled water.

As the corner was just down the road from Chinavasion’s office some of us thought it would be a good idea to go and see what was going on. And when we finally arrived what we found was nothing short of pure mayhem.

Between 50,000 and 60,000 people had gathered at the corner and were waiting desperately to get a glimpse of the torch.

happy man with flag

The crowd was surprisingly upbeat despite having to wait up to three or four hours.

In fact, there were so many people that they had rushed onto the road and what police and army presence there was there gamely trying to keep them behind a rope barrier and keep channels open

13a-resized.jpg

Police struggled to keep channels open right through, despite the torch having already passed.

It must have been at that point that authorities decided to cut that corner from the relay and travel down a side street, to make up time and avoid the mass of people that had gathered there.

unhappy spectators

Back at the corner the confusion had only got worse.

The crowd, who were not informed of the change of route until the torch had got safely past, started searching desperately for the torch’s path.

Every cheer of someone who thought they had seen something was met with a rush of people and one group in particular took to shadowing the PLA who had been assigned to keep order.

bus pushing through spectators

It was not until the roads opened again and traffic pushed its way through the crowds that everybody got the message and drifted off, some happier than others.

3a-resized-big.jpg happy olympics supporter

While most people were philosophical about the change in route others were less than happy.

Once we got back to Chinavasion we found a crowd of people at the building door. The reason… a man-sized torch replica that people could have their photo taken beside. At least we’d seen one torch for the day.

Nanshan

The only ‘Olympic Torch’ we got to see yesterday

The relay ended at 6pm with disabled torch bearer transferring the light from the torch to the Olympic flame in central Shenzhen.

Shenzhen mayor, Xu Zong Heng, estimated before the event that 8 million people (which would be the majority of the city’s official population) would show up to watch Shenzhen’s Olympic Torch relay, overtaking the Guangzhou Olympic torch crowd of 2 million people.

If the crowd today at just one corner of the relay is anything to go by that number wouldn’t be too much of a stretch of the imagination.

Author xlxmarketing 8.5.2008. | 22:27
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2 Comments

  1. george May 9, 10:26

    Some more happy pictures are over at Shenzhen Party: http://www.shenzhenparty.com/content/torch-relay-pictures

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