Video | Torch Design | Key Facts about the Torch | Torch Relay | Relay Route | Links | SEE Also
Promotion video for the Torch of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay will traverse the longest distance, cover the greatest area and include the largest number of people, according to plans released 26 April 2007 during a grand ceremony held in the China Millennium Monument in Beijing by BOCOG, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of XXIX Olympiad.
Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch
The Beijing Olympic Torch boasts strong Chinese characteristics, and showcases Chinese design and technical capabilities. It embodies the concepts of a Green Olympics, a High-tech Olympics and the People's Olympics.
Key Facts about the Torch
The torch is 72 centimeters high, weighs 985 grams and is made of aluminum.
The torch is of a curved surface form, with etching and anodizing being used during its production.
A torch can usually keep burning for approximately 15 minutes in conditions where the flame is 25 to 30 centimeters high in a windless environment.
The torch has been produced to withstand winds of up to 65 kilometres per hour and to stay alight in rain up to 50mm an hour. The flame can be identified and photographed in sunshine and areas of extreme brightness.
The fuel is propane which is in accordance with environmental guidelines. The material of its form is recyclable.
Artistic and Technical Features of the Torch
The torch of the Beijing Olympic Games has a very strong Chinese flavor. It demonstrates the artistic and technical level of China. It also conveys the message of a Green Olympics, a High-tech Olympics and the People's Olympics.
The shape of the paper scroll and the lucky clouds graphic, expresses the idea of harmony. Its stable burning technique and adaptability to the environment have reached a new technical level.
The torch of the Beijing Olympic Games is designed, researched and produced in China. BOCOG owns all intellectual property rights.
Fuel for the Torch
Under the concept of a Green Olympics, environmental protection was a key element listed in the invitation documents to the design companies, by BOCOG.
The fuel of the torch is propane, which is a common fuel which also comes with a low price. It is composed of carbon and hydrogen.
No material, except carbon dioxide and water remain after the burning, eliminating any risk of pollution.
The Burning System
The burning system of the torch is designed by China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation. Its stable burning technique and adaptability to the environment have reached a new technical level. It can stay alight in severe weather conditions such as strong wind, rain, snow, hail, etc.
The flame can also be identified in sunshine and areas of extreme brightness so as to satisfy the requirements of capturing photographic images and video footage.
2005 August BOCOG developed the design concepts and requirements of the torch.
2005 December BOCOG recruited potential torch designs from the design society. In total, BOCOG received 388 pieces of works.
2006 June-August BOCOG selected the structural designer and the burning system designer.
2007 January Beijing Olympic Torch was approved by IOC
Map of the torch relay.
Click on image to see actual size.
The Olympic Torch Relay (OTR) is one of the strongest links between the Modern Olympic Movement and the Ancient Olympic Games, and may be considered the second most important communications tool after the Games themselves. The Olympic flame is lit in Olympia, Greece, from rays of the sun in traditional ceremony among the ruins of the original Olympic stadium. The flame is carried back to the newest host country, and may travel in the Olympic Torch Relay for up to 100 days, spreading the message of humanity and light integral to the Games.
One of the highlights of this leg will be the attempt to bring the Olympic Flame to the highest peak in the world Mt. Qomolangma. During the arrival ceremony for the flame into China on March 31, 2008, one of the lanterns with the Olympic Flame will be kept aside. The torchbearer team will then attempt to take the Flame to the highest peak on a day in May that presents the best climatic conditions for the ascent.
Arrival of Olympic Flame at Mt. Qomolangma
The transport of the Olympic Flame to Mt. Qomolangma was an undertaking made by China when it was bidding for the Olympics. It symbolized the Beijing Olympic Games desire to take the Olympic Flame to new heights and to celebrate the best of human achievement. The desire also symbolizes the three concepts of the 2008 Olympic Games: a Green Games, a High-tech Games and the People's Games. It symbolizes the victory of the human spirit to be able to persevere, overcome obstacles and attain their goals. The ascent will also highlight the beautiful landscape of Tibet, not unlike how the underwater portion of the 2000 Olympic Torch Rely showcased the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Because of the specific weather conditions at Mt. Qomolangma, the arrival of the Olympic Flame at Mt. Qomolangma may span 3 months. Considering the uncertainty of many aspects at Mt. Qomolangma and the fact that it will not affect the whole torch relay program, the IOC approved the following plan.
During the arrival ceremony for the flame into China on March 31, 2008, one of the lanterns with the Olympic Flame will be kept in Beijing. The mountaineering teams and torchbearers will climb the mountain in May 2008 when the weather conditions are expected to be suitable for the ascent. As the flame is about to reach the top of Mt Qomolangma, the domestic relay will be suspended for the period in makes it final ascent. This is to avoid two relays occurring at the same time.
After its arrival at the summit of Mt. Qomolangma, the flame will travel back to Lasa and await the arrival of the domestic relay when it will be rejoined with that flame.
The Torch Relay for the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be the longest torch relay in Olympic history- an 85,000-mile, 130-day route that would cross five continents and scale Mount Everest.
The planned route, revealed by Luo Gan, member of the standing committee of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee, joined by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, would last 130 days and travel 137,000 kilometers.
Validated by IOC, the Olympic Flame will be lit in Olympia, Greece according to tradition on March 25, 2008. From March 25 - 30, the Torch Relay will travel across Greece, ending at the Panathinaiko Stadium, the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. After the handover ceremony in the stadium, the Olympic Flame will arrive in Beijing on March 31, 2008. In Beijing, a ceremony will be held for the arrival of the flame into China and Beijing 2008 Olympic torch relay will commence.
The Route will pass through these cities:
International Leg Domestic Leg (within China) 25 March Olympia, Greece 2 May Hong Kong 30 March Athens, Greece 3 May Macau 31 March Beijing, China May- August 2 April Almaty, Kazakhstan Hainan Sanya, Wuzhishan, Wanning, Haikou 3 April Istanbul, Turkey Guangdong Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Huizhou, Shantou 5 April St. Petersburg, Russia Fujian Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Xiamen, Longyan 6 April London, UK Jiangxi Ruijin, Jinggagshan, Nanchang 7 April Paris, France Zhejiang Wenzhou, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing 9 April San Francisco, US Shanghai 11 April Buenos Aires, Argentina Jiangsu Suzhou, Nantong, Taizhou, Yangzhou, Nanjing 13 April Dar es Salam, Tanzania Anhui Hefei, Huainan, Wuhu, Jixi, Huangshan 14 April Muscat, Oman Hubei Wuhan, Yichang, Jingzhou 16 April Islamabad, Pakistan Hunan Yueyang, Changsha, Shaoshan 17 April New Delhi, India Guangxi Zhuang Guilin, Nanning, Baise 19 April Bangkok, Thailand Yunnan Kunming, Lijiang 21 April Kuala Lampur, Malaysia Guizhou Guiyang, Kaili, Zunyi 22 April Jakarta, Indonesia Chongqing 29 April Canberra, Australia Sichuan Guang'an, Mianyang, Guanghan, Leshan, Zigong, Yibin, Chengdu 26 April Nagano, Japan Tibet (Xigaze) Shannan, Lhasa 27 April Seoul, South Korea Qinghai Golmud, Qinghai Hu, Xining 28 April Pyongyang, North Korea Xinjiang Uygur Ürümqi, Kashi, Shihezi, Changji 29 April Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Gansu Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, Jiuquan, Tianshui, Lanzhou Ningxia Hui Zhongwei, Wuzhong, Yinchuan Shaanxi Yan'an, Yangling, Xianyang, Xi'an Shanxi Yuncheng, Pingyao, Taiyuan, Datong Inner Mongolia (Nei Menggu) Hohhot, Ordos, Baotou, Chifeng Heilongjiang Qiqihar, Daqing, Harbin Jilin Songyuan, Changchun, Jilin, Yanji Liaoning Shenyang, Benxi, Liaoyang, Anshan, Dalian Shandong Yantai, Weihai, Qingdao, Rizhao, Linyi, Qufu, Tai'an, Jinan Henan Shangqiu, Kaifeng, Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Anyang Hebei Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan Tianjin Beijing