A village magazine has been barred from sale along the route of the 2012 Olympic cycling road race.
After the success of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish in the Tour de France this year, thousands are expected to flock to Box Hill, a climb on the route of the road race, to cheer on British sport’s newest heroes. But local residents will not be allowed to sell their parish magazine, the Box Hill News, to the crowds.
According to the Leatherhead Advertiser, locals had planned an Olympic edition of their magazine, featuring an article by Keith Brock, a member of Great Britain’s 1948 London Olympic cycling team, with money raised going to charity.
But former editor June Austin says she was told that only official LOCOG sponsor merchandise would be allowed to be sold in the immediate vicinity of the race.
Ms Austin said:
“They said the whole area would be controlled by Locog so if you’re not an Olympic sponsor, you can’t sell anything there.
“It would have been such an opportunity to raise money for charities in the area and they’re missing out; all the money will go to the big companies.”
You have to wonder who’s running public relations for the London Olympic Games. While one can understand the need to protect commercial concerns, the games, which were sold to Londoners as inclusive, community-enhancing and all those nice things, are taking on the feel of an authoritarian imposition on peoples lives, rather than something to be celebrated.
More London 2012:
Plus read more on Sport v human rights in Index on Censorship magazine’s Sports issue