Map of the torch relay.
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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.
- Torch Relay Photo Journal (International)
- Torch Relay Photo Journal (Domestic)
- Relay Design
- Torch Design
The torch will pass through these cities between March and May during the international leg of the relay:
25 March Olympia, Greece 30 March Athens, Greece 31 March Beijing, China 2 April Almaty, Kazakhstan 3 April Istanbul, Turkey 5 April St. Petersburg, Russia 6 April London, UK 7 April Paris, France 9 April San Francisco, US 11 April Buenos Aires, Argentina 13 April Dar es Salam, Tanzania 14 April Muscat, Oman 16 April Islamabad, Pakistan 17 April New Delhi, India 19 April Bangkok, Thailand 21 April Kuala Lampur, Malaysia 22 April Jakarta, Indonesia 29 April Canberra, Australia 26 April Nagano, Japan 27 April Seoul, South Korea 28 April Pyongyang, North Korea 29 April Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Beginning with the initial landing in Hong Kong on 2 May, the domestic leg of the relay continues from May until the final stop at the opening ceremonies in Beijing, at 08:08 on 8 August.
2 May Hong Kong 3 May Macau Province Cities Hainan Sanya, Wuzhishan, Wanning, Haikou Guangdong Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Huizhou, Shantou Fujian Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Xiamen, Longyan Jiangxi Ruijin, Jinggagshan, Nanchang Zhejiang Wenzhou, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing Shanghai Jiangsu Suzhou, Nantong, Taizhou, Yangzhou, Nanjing Anhui Hefei, Huainan, Wuhu, Jixi, Huangshan Hubei Wuhan, Yichang, Jingzhou Hunan Yueyang, Changsha, Shaoshan Guangxi Zhuang Guilin, Nanning, Baise Yunnan Kunming, Lijiang Guizhou Guiyang, Kaili, Zunyi Chongqing Sichuan Guang'an, Mianyang, Guanghan, Leshan, Zigong, Yibin, Chengdu Tibet (Xigaze) Shannan, Lhasa Qinghai Golmud, Qinghai Hu, Xining Xinjiang Uygur Ürümqi, Kashi, Shihezi, Changji 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