The Olympic flame passed through San Francisco on Wednesday with the closing ceremony held at the airport.
The torch relay set off well in the pre-arranged China Bay Park. But facing threats by Tibetan separatists and their supporters to storm the relay, San Francisco police made a swift change of the route and shortened the course by half.
Local people wait to watch the Olympic flame in San Francisco, the United States, April 9, 2008. San Francisco is the sixth stop of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games torch relay outside the Chinese mainland.
The new route passed through Fort Mason, Crissy Fields and Golden Gate Bridge down the Presidio avenue. The previous itinerary covered AT&T Stadium, the home court for San Francisco baseball team of Giants, Bay Bridge, Ferry Building, Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, China Town, Lombard Street and Civic center, Ciot Tower and Fishermen's Wharf.
The torchbearers had to run two in line in order to ensure each bearer an opportunity to carry the torch.
Local people jostle against each other to watch the Olympic flame in San Francisco, the United States, April 9, 2008. San Francisco is the sixth stop of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games torch relay outside the Chinese mainland.
Torch carrier Coughlin Natalie, double gold medallist in the Athens Games, said she was not bothered much by the change.
"We learned the possibility of resetting route minutes after we boarded on the bus, so it's not a surprise at all," said Natalie, who won five medals in the 2004 Olympic Games, including golds in100m backstroke and 800m freestyle relay.
"Personally I don't care about the change of route, there are large crowds still along the new route and the safety of torchbearers are well secured. That's what I think is more important," added Natalie.