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

Torch Design

General pattern.

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.

Top view.
Bottom view.

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.

Reverse Design
Obverse Design

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.

Design Timelines

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.

Torch Relay

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.

Relay Route

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


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