Olympics boss: there's no way to stop protesters
Head of Team GB admits it is almost impossible to fully secure events such as the marathon
The head of Britain's Olympic team has admitted that there is little organisers can do to stop lone demonstrators disrupting events at this summer's Games.
The admission came a day after an "anti-elitism" campaigner managed to disrupt the University Boat Race.
Lord Moynihan, the chairman of the British Olympic Association, warned that while security was under constant review for the Games, it took only one person to interrupt an event.
"It just takes one idiot, similar to the idiot [at the Boat Race], who causes major disruption," he said. "That's why all the security measures need to be put in place to minimise the chances of that happening. You can never completely remove it but you can do everything possible to minimise it."
Olympic officials are all too aware that protest groups will target events to make political or ideological points. There are particular concerns that events like rowing, the marathon and the torch relay – which inevitably have to take place over large distances – are difficult to secure over the entire route and will be popular targets for protesters who wish to use the Olympics to highlight their causes.
In 2008, as the Olympic torch made its way through London in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, it was briefly wrestled out of the hands of the television presenter Konnie Huq, despite a a phalanx of muscled bodyguards sent by China to protect it. Britain's torch, which will arrive from Greece next month, is set to travel 8,000 miles over 70 days before arriving at the Olympic Stadium – a route that will be fiendishly difficult to protect.
Lord Moynihan, a former Olympic rower who also took part in the Boat Race, said the actions of the protester, Trenton Oldfield, were a "tragedy" for the rowers, who would have spent years preparing for the race.
"He obviously knew what he was doing," he told the BBC. "The two crews alongside each other only take up a small amount of the width of the river just the other side of Hammersmith Bridge, and to have got in their with a massive flood tide behind him and stay centre stream in order to have maximum effect was obviously a very unexpected result."
He added: "It is a major challenge and the Government have been aware of this since day one and work closely with Locog [the Olympic organising committee]. Every conceivable scenario is being reviewed and I'm confident no more can be done. It's not impossible but it is a major challenge."
Oxford Rower out of hospital after collapse
By Richard Hall
The Oxford rower who collapsed from exhaustion following the Boat Race this weekend has left hospital.
Alexander Woods, a student at Pembroke College, fell ill immediately after his university's dramatic defeat on the Thames on Saturday. The 27-year-old was seen struggling to breathe as he slumped in the boat. His teammates tried to revive him before medical staff arrived and he was taken to hospital.
Oxford's team coach, Sean Bowden, told BBC Radio Five Live yesterday that Mr Woods was "on his way back home".
"I think it was just a case of somebody being able to row themselves absolutely to a state of exhaustion," he said.
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Ian Watkins: Police forces probed over earlier allegations as paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences
DNA from a 50,000 year old toe shows Neanderthals were highly inbred
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£79000 - £93000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Commercial Property Associat...
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Business Analyst - Banking...
£21999 - £27001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have exten...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...