So it turns out that jogging along proudly with the Olympic torch isn't such a risk-free pastime after all. Scattered along the route, it seems, are wackos intent on either extinguishing the thing or lighting cigarettes from it—as diligent torch bearers in Australia found out in recent weeks.
Tom Carroll, who runs TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., got to carry the flame last week, and didn't encounter undue horseplay along the way—although his friends and colleagues back home thought he did, thanks to a bizarre coincidence.
Turns out that within days of the adman's jog, another Tom Carroll—this one a former world surfing champion—was himself trucking along with the beacon of Olympic pride. Working his way pleasantly through Kiama, a coastal town south of Sydney, this Tom Carroll came across a guy who was keen on tossing the torch in the ocean. After a brief and uneventful struggle, the attacker was overcome.
As news of the incident spread, TBWA\C\D received numerous phone calls inquiring after the health of our Tom Carroll, but he was safe and sound—recovering last week in Australia from the attack that never happened and unavailable for comment. PHOTODISCICON SPORTS PHOTO/NEWSCOMPhototake/Picturequest