Beijing - 2008
is the capital of the most populous country in the world, the People's Republic of China. It was also the seat of the Ming and Qing dynasty emperors until the formation of a republic in 1911. As such it is rich in historical sites and important government institutions.
The city is well known for its flatness and regular construction. There is only one hill to be found in the city limits (in Jingshan Park to the north of the famous Forbidden City). Like the configuration of the Forbidden City, Beijing has concentric "ring roads", which are actually rectangular, that go around the metropolis.
Validated by IOC, the Olympic Flame will be lit in Olympia, Greece according to tradition on March 24, 2008. From March 24 - 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.
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.
The design of the Torch takes advantage of Chinese artistic heritage and technological expertise. The design of the aluminum torch features traditional scrolls and "Lucky Cloud". It stands 72 centimeters high and weighs 985 grams.
The Torch incorporates technological innovations to be able to remain lit in winds of up to 65 kilometers-an-hour and lit in rain of up to 50 millimeters-an-hour. And the torch can keep burning for 15 minutes. Other technological advancements prevent color discoloration and corrosion around the cone from which the Flame burns. The Torch construction is also environmentally-conscious. The materials are recyclable, and the propane fuel meets environmental requirements.
The Beijing Olympic Torch boasts both distinctive Chinese cultural features, and technical excellence and sophisticated materials. It will carry the friendship that Chinese people extend to the world and the Olympic spirit to the five continents and to the peak of Mt. Qomolangma," said BOCOG President Liu Qi.
The torch and the Olympic Flame are symbols which embody the Olympic Values of excellence, respect and friendship. They inspire us to be the best we can be in all that we do," added IOC President Jacques Rogge. "The magnificent design of the torch for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay will also add a very unique Chinese flavour to the relay, as the 'Clouds of Promise' carry the Beijing Games' message to the world."
The Torch casting was designed by the Lenovo Creative Centre and the burning system inside the Torch was designed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Group.
Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay Worldwide Partners
The Worldwide Partners for Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay are: Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lenovo, which will provide financial and service support for the smooth operation of the torch relay. They are the highest tier sponsors of sponsorship program for Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay and are granted a series of marketing rights and benefits related to the torch relay.