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China releases Winter Games torch relay plan as sacred flame lands in Beijing

2021/10/21 13:53:16   source:Global Times

Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympic Games

Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympic Games

The Olympic flame for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games landed in Beijing on Wednesday morning from Athens, Greece. The Chinese capital gave the flame a lavish welcome at the Olympic Tower near the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium, and later unveiled a pared-down torch relay and display plan.

The welcoming ceremony started with a video review of the flame lighting and handover ceremony held in Greece. Then the flame lamp of the sacred flame solemnly entered the Olympic Tower and lit the cauldron, filled with Chinese culture characters.

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games told media that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee decided to put public health and safety first, streamlining the torch relay with more flame display activities online.

Zhang Jiandong, the Executive Vice President of Beijing Organizing Committee, announced on Wednesday that the torch relay for 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games will be carried out in the three host regions: Beijing urban area, Yanqing district, and Zhangjiakou in North China's Hebei Province.

About 1,200 torchbearers will take part in the relay from February 2 to 4, 2022, and the selection of the route is based on elements like ice and snow culture, historical culture and Great Wall culture, natural scenery, and city characteristics.

Global Times learned that the Olympic flame will first be displayed in Beijing's Olympic Tower and open to the public for free, in conjunction with the Olympic torch relay theme exhibition.

China''s torch relay plan for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Editor: Shi Yue/GT Graphic: Feng Qingyin/GT

China's torch relay plan for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Editor: Shi Yue/GT Graphic: Feng Qingyin/GT

In consideration of the strong support of corporate sponsors for the Winter Olympic Games, the second stage of the torch display will be attended by some of the Olympic global partners and the official partners of the Beijing Winter Games, and combined with sponsors' public welfare projects.

The third stage of the flame display ceremony will take place in regions with rich ice and snow resources and solid foundation of winter sports, like Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Tianjin municipality.

The displays will be combined with the local festival activities, such as the "rime ice and snow festival," to drive the enthusiasm of the masses and promote the goal to "encourage 300 million people to participate in ice and snow sports."

The flame lantern, torch relay logo, and torchbearer clothing, which combine elements of Chinese culture and Olympic snow and ice sports, were also on display at Wednesday's welcoming ceremony.

Zhang Yulong, the head of the designing team for torch relay emblem, told the media that the idea comes from the image of phoenix, a sacred bird in ancient Chinese mythology that represents auspiciousness, harmony and peace. The silk elements are also incorporated into the design of calligraphy art and the logo of the Great Wall.

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