Vancouver seeks 2008 Paralympic torch

By Jeff Lee
Vancouver Sun
Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan hopes to convince the organizers of the 2008 Beijing Games to bring the Paralympic torch relay to Vancouver.
The mayor announced today he’s had some discussions with the Beijing Organizing Committee, which is considering mounting an around-the-world relay for the Paralympic torch.

The Beijing organizers last month said they would announce details on their torch relay in the second half of 2007.But Sullivan and B.C. Lee, a Vancouver councillor, are already mounting a plan to convince the Beijing committee to send the torch to Vancouver.
“Hosting the 2008 Paralympic Games torch relay could help promote Vancouver as one of the most accessible cities in the world,” Sullivan said in a release.
“In addition to promoting tourism, the torch relay will also help build community spirit in advance of 2010. Later this month Lee will introduce a motion at council seeking support for the plan, and instructing staff to begin negotiations with the Beijing committee on what the committee will need to get the torch to Vancouver.
Lee also wants staff to consult with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Games and its government partners to help enlist their support.
Sullivan and Lee said bringing the Paralympic torch to Vancouver would be a symbolically important message, especially since tourism travel in North America for people with disabilities is a $13 billion-a-year industry.
The request is also likely to reignite debate over whether the Olympic torch should also make a stop in Vancouver. So far, the Beijing committee has only scheduled one North American stop in San Francisco, California.