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Marina district added to route Olympic torch will take in City

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The Marina district joins McCovey Cove at AT&T Park and Justin Herman Plaza at the Ferry Building as yet another piece of the Olympic torch route puzzle.

Although the torch relay is just more than a week away from making its only North American stop in San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom said Monday that the route is only two-thirds completed.

“It goes down to the Marina,” Newsom said of the route. “It’s a question of getting back from the Marina.”

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Potential corridors for the torch’s return from the Marina being considered by officials include Bay, California, Fillmore, Pine or Bush streets, according to Newsom.

The torch was originally going to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and go out to Alcatraz Island, Newsom said.

Roughly 80 torchbearers will carry the flame as it winds its way through The City with the ultimate distance and finalized route still closely guarded, said torch relay spokesman David Perry, who added that the complete route announcement will be made this week.

Forty of the 80 torchbearers will be announced when the route is announced, Perry said, noting that the 40 runners were selected from 536 entries in an essay contest. Thirteen of the remaining 40 have been chosen by event sponsors.

Concerns about security have kept officials from releasing the torch route’s details, which has spawned complaints from groups looking to protest human rights abuses they blame on the Chinese government.

Last week in Greece, police arrested pro-Tibetan protesters that disrupted the Beijing Olympic torch relay in the village of Ancient Olympia.

Representatives from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, including Deputy Consul General Shen Weilian, paid visits to San Francisco Supervisors on Monday, according to Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

The board will vote on a resolution by Supervisor Chris Daly’s urging the city official who accepts the torch to proclaim “alarm and protest” about China’s ongoing human rights violations.

Another resolution the full board will hear supports public access to the torch’s route. Dufty said he told the Chinese representatives that he was “confident” both resolutions would pass.

dsmith@examiner.com



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