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Jackie Chan Carries Olympic Torch in Greece
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Hollywood action star Jackie Chan stirred up a commotion in Salonika on Friday as he ran a leg of the Olympic torch relay.

Chan, who has won worldwide acclaim thanks to his acrobatic film roles, was forced to stop his run after no more than 100 meters amid fears of injury caused by the crazy crowds. He has been supposed to carry the flame for 400 meters.

Thousands of local citizens, including several hundreds of overseas Chinese, lined the streets in the country's second largest city and chanted cheers as Chan passed by. Many followed Chan along the relay route and even attempted to break in the procession.

"It is a special honor and I feel proud to have run in Greece. It's a once-in-life experience to me," Chan said after the torch relay.

"It (Torch relay) is not only about sport, but also conveys themessages of 'peace', 'love' and 'unity'," he added.

A total of 150 torchbearers were involved in Friday's relay from Polygiros to Salonika.

Members of the Greek national men's basketball team, who will soon be playing at the Olympics, ran together at the last leg. They also lit an altar at the White Tower together.

Team captain FranGiskos Albertis said: "We are honored to be taking part in the Olympic torch relay. It is an act that will help carry the message of the Olympic Games throughout the world. It is a special moment in all our lives."

Besides Chan, two others picked as representatives of China to carry the flame 400 meters each in Salonika on Saturday are Sun Wen, former captain of the women's soccer team, and actor Pu Cunxin.

The flame continues its journey Saturday from Salonika to the ancient city of Dion, passing on the way through Pella, Giannitsa,Alexandria and Litohoro, covering a total of 177km with a participation of more than 250 torchbearers.

(Xinhua News  Agency  July 26, 2004)

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