Beijing Olympic officials have trimmed what was to be the first international Paralympic torch relay that routed through future Olympic venues (Vancouver, London, etc.) and around the world to Beijing into a few whistle stops through well-protected sites in China. (Thanks to RINGS for the heads-up.)
You might think this has to do with all of the protests and rioting that occurred around the Olympic torch relay. You might also think that China canceling runs through regions of their own country that despise Chinese rule was no coincidence. However, China made it very clear they’re canceling a joyous jaunt through Vancouver because of the Sichuan earthquake last month.
If an earthquake that occurred last month forcing a showpiece relay race in other countries in late August and early September seems ludicrous to you, it’s only because you haven’t heard an explanation. We can provide one.
So there’s this guy named Wei, right? He got a job at the new Beijing terminal driving people around in those luggage carts. And he’s new at the job and he’s learned how to drive in Beijing, so he’s kind of a maniac behind the wheel. Little old ladies hanging on for dear life; luggage flying everywhere; crates of fruit being upended during luggage cart chases… the whole 8.23m.
And so that horrible day in May happens when tens of thousands of people lose their lives in a horrific earthquake in Sichuan. Wei’s scootin’ along at full speed on his luggage cart (which he’s figured out how to juice up a bit to break his previous record from one end of the terminal to the other) when he sees the news on a CCTV console in the terminal.
He’s so shocked by what he sees that he’s completely distracted and stops paying attention to people around him. When he breaks out of his trance because of a screaming woman, he lurches the cart to the side and barrels right into a ramp, where he’s thrown free of what ends up being a rather impressive explosion because of his modifications.
Unfortunately for Beijing and for Wei, the planners for the new terminal didn’t put in enough ramps in the right areas, see, so this ramp was the only way for wheelchairs to get to flights to Vancouver, London, and parts of China that don’t like Chinese rule. The whole trip had to be called off. Wei’s still scrubbing bathrooms with his toothbrush.
And, let’s face it, that’s no less ridiculous than the official explanation.