Setbacks Mount For Olympic Organizers In Vancouver Weather delays, ticket problems and a growing uproar about a fence have all contributed to concerns about the planning and organization at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Early snags in the games have been characterized as "teething problems." But Tuesday, a number of issues threatened to give this Olympic baby a full-blown case of colic.
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Setbacks Mount For Olympic Organizers In Vancouver

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Setbacks Mount For Olympic Organizers In Vancouver

Setbacks Mount For Olympic Organizers In Vancouver

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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

NPR's Tom Goldman reports from Vancouver.

TOM GOLDMAN: I'm standing about 100 yards from the Olympic cauldron and flame right next to the International Broadcast Center here in downtown Vancouver. The Olympic flame, of course, the great symbol of the games. The irony being that we are standing here looking at it from about 100 yards away behind a chain link fence. And I am with Adam Firth from...

ADAM FIRTH: Edmonton, Alberta.

GOLDMAN: Okay. And, you know, there seems to be kind of a growing anger about the fact that we are separated from this flame. What are your thoughts about this?

FIRTH: Well, it's unfortunate that we couldn't get a little bit closer and enjoy the flame from right next to it, especially, seeing that there are some VIPs that are able to get up close and to be able to take some photos right up next to it. It would've been nice to possibly have some maybe different security measures, to either have some security guards monitoring the premises a little bit closer and to remove the fence altogether.

GOLDMAN: A Globe and Mail newspaper editorial today was more pointed. The headline, appealing to the head of VANOC - the Vancouver organizing committee - screams: Mr. Furlong, tear down this fence. Renee Smith-Valade is a VANOC spokeswoman.

RENEE SMITH: Perhaps we did underestimate the degree to which people would want to get closer to it than they are. The key is to recognize that desire, to move quickly. And I'm confident we'll have a plan in place tomorrow that will have people at a vantage point to see the caldron that they'll be very happy with.

GOLDMAN: And the weather continues to be a problem up higher at the Alpine skiing venues. That's where my colleague Howard Berkes is.

HOWARD BERKES: Now, they did manage to squeeze in the men's downhill between storms yesterday. Sun is in the forecast for tomorrow in the women's downhill, but it's also going to be warm again.

GOLDMAN: Tom Goldman, NPR News, Vancouver.

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