Naked man hijacks Olympics torch relay

Jul 11, 2012, 07:18 IST | Agencies

The man was arrested after disrupting the relay by streaking past spectators

The Olympic Torch relay was interrupted in the posh town of Henley-on-Thames — by a streaker. The streaker had ‘Free Tibet’ written on his back and managed only a short distance before being tackled by officers in Henley-on-Thames. He was covered in a blanket by police and led away.

A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman confirmed that a 27-year-old man from Henley has been arrested on suspicion of outraging public decency. Hundreds of onlookers watched the blonde-haired man disrupt proceedings in the Oxfordshire town as the torch made its way through on the 53rd day of the relay. A Henley resident who was lining the procession route said the streaker came out of the crowd.

Passing on the flame: Sir Roger Bannister,  passes the Flame to torchbearer Nicola Byrom on the track at Iffley Road Stadium in Oxford. Pic/AFP

Andrew Tinsley, and environmental scientist, said, “The guy came out of nowhere. He definitely picked his moment to shine. The streaker completely out footed the policeman on the other side of the bus. The juxtaposition of the bus relay logo of a running man and the streaker was immensely funny.”
As well as emblazoning his back with the message, the streaker also carried a fake Olympic torch as he ran past spectators.

Assistant Chief Constable John Campbell, overseeing the Torch Relay policing operation, said: “This was an isolated incident that was quickly dealt with by police officers and thankfully did not disrupt the torch relay as it passed through Henley. The torch relay events of yesterday and today have been attended by thousands of people who lined the routes through towns and villages, and seemed to have really enjoyed this once in a lifetime experience, and we have every confidence that this will continue.”

Athletics legend Sir Roger Bannister returned to the scene of his greatest sporting achievement as he started yesterday’s journey of the Olympic flame. Sir Roger was joined by London 2012 chairman Lord Coe at the Iffley Road track in Oxford.

Queen welcomes the flame
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh welcomed the torch relay as torrential rain fell on Windsor Castle. The torch was carried into the castle by a sodden torchbearer Gina Macgregor. 

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