Protest of Olympic torch in San Francisco

The following is an AP news story. The role of politics has dogged the Olympics almost since its founding. The 1936 games in Berlin, the 1968 games in Mexico City, and the 1972 games in Munich are a few notable instances.

SAN FRANCISCO — Tibetan immigrants protesting Chinese control of the Himalayan region vowed on March 10 to make San Francisco, the only U.S. city to host the Olympic torch relay, the focal point of American demonstrations against the Beijing Games.

The protesters chanting “Olympics in China, Torture in Tibet” and “Truth is our only weapon,” and some wiping away tears while singing the Tibet national anthem, also called on Mayor Gavin Newsom to reject the April 9 torch run and urged city officials to pass a resolution calling on China to improve conditions for Tibetans in their homeland.

Newsom’s spokesman, Nathan Ballard, said the mayor was deeply concerned about human rights in Tibet, but believed the Olympics was not the forum to address political issues.“It’s important to remember that the Olympic spirit is one of international harmony and goodwill, and it transcends politics,” Ballard said. “In this spirit, San Francisco is proud to be the only North American city to host the Olympic torch relay.”

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