Akshay Kumar's Olympic run interrupted by protesters

Akshay Kumar's Olympic run interrupted by protesters

The 42-year-old actor helped carry the Olympic flame into Toronto yesterday but could not finish his 300-metre run as protesters blocked the street, however Akshay's fans lined-up the streets to catch a glimpse of their cine idol.

The protests caused a one-hour-delay and the officials had to divert the route. Hundreds of policemen intervened to remove the agitators who kept shouting slogans of 'No Olympics', against the holding of the sports extravaganza on lands taken away from the original natives of Canada.

Moments before the arrival of Akshay the organizers were worried if the Bollywood star had enough security. After the star arrived a group of fans rushed to touch him.
"I don't think they comprehended this. I think it's going to be a little chaotic," said Andrew Clark, vice-president of market development for the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Akshay was one of the 14 torchbearers for the Winter Olympics which will be held in Vancouver between Feb 12-28 and his involvement was announced by the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his two-day India visit.

Earlier in a press conference here, the actor had said that he was honoured to have been chosen as a torch bearer, adding that Canada was like a "second home to him".
"I'm here because I love sports," he explained of his involvement, adding that he plans to be in Vancouver for the games and is hoping to be able to get some tickets to a hockey game or two.

Hockey is a sport that will be featured in a movie he'll be making here next year.
Akshay said he's made seven or eight films in Toronto and Vancouver. He is also active in the community and has helped raise money for hospitals in both cities.
Wearing long johns under his white torchbearer's tracksuit, Akshay said he wasn't worried about the cold.
"I just love Canada. The people are so warm even though the weather is so cold," he said.

Akshay carrying the flame in downtown Toronto was part of a USD 26-million strategy by the government to leverage tourism opportunities presented by the Vancouver Games. His travel expenses were paid but he received no appearance fee.
Batting the freezing weather that dipped below -10 Celsius an Indian fan of Akshay, 24-year-old Tarandeep Malhi, said she was unsure about the difference between the Winter Olympics and the regular Olympics.

"But you know it must be a big thing if he (Akshay) came all the way from India for this," she added.

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