London 2012: Event disruption threat 'cannot be removed'

The 158th Boat Race is brought to a halt by the Thames swimmer

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A London 2012 official has admitted Olympic events could be disrupted by "one idiot" after the University Boat Race was halted by a swimmer.

The Oxford versus Cambridge race was delayed when a protester began swimming next to the boats in the River Thames.

Trenton Oldfield, 35, of Whitechapel, east London, has been charged under the Public Order Act.

British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan said it would do all it could to protect athletes in the Games.

The public are due to line the route of the marathon, triathlon, road cycling and open water swimming events.

Start Quote

"You can never get it perfect unless you remove all the crowds and nobody is going to dream of doing that”

End Quote Colin Moynihan

Mr Moynihan said: "It just takes, and is likely to be, one idiot.

"That is why all the security measures need to be put in place to minimise the chance of that happening.

"You can never completely remove it but you can do everything possible to protect the interests of the athletes by minimising it.

"You can never get it perfect unless you remove all the crowds and nobody is going to dream of doing that."

Race umpire John Garrett halted the boat race after his assistant, the four-time Olympic champion Sir Matthew Pinsent, spotted a man in the water just after the crews had passed Chiswick Steps.

The race was then halted for 30 minutes.

Boat race swimmer Trenton Oldfield was arrested after the incident
'Embarrassment and confusion'

When it re-started, an oar in the Oxford boat broke and Cambridge went on to win.

Mr Oldfield was released on bail after being held in custody and is due at Feltham Magistrates' Court on 23 April.

Ahead of the race, he wrote in a blog entitled "Elitism leads to tyranny" that he hoped to cause "embarrassment and confusion".

The blog read: "This is a protest, an act of civil disobedience.

"I am swimming into the boats in the hope I can stop them from completing the race."

After the race Oxford rower Alexander Woods, 27, passed out but was discharged from hospital on Sunday.

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