Torchbearers from the United States, Japan, and Greece shared in the Olympic spirit, with 18 foreign runners joined the torch relay in Jingzhou, Hubei Province, yesterday.
"The Olympic sacred flame relay is a window through which more foreigners can know more about China, the Chinese zeal for the Olympics, the passion for their country and their compatriots, and the profound Chinese culture," said torch carrier No. 93 Guo Yiguang, an American Chinese.
She told Xinhua that she has felt the differences between the cultural systems of China and Western countries. "People need to understand each other. The torch relay provides more foreigners a chance to come to China and make friends with the Chinese," she said.
No. 188 torchbearer, James Zimmerman, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said he was very proud to deliver the Olympic torch in Jingzhou.
"We have been making efforts to build bridges of friendship between China and the United States, promoting mutual understanding and communication. The torch provides a good opportunity for the two sides to know each other," he said.
An American student, Guan Dehui, studying Chinese said he dedicated the flame to earthquake victims. "I wish to take the love, confidence and courage from the torch relay to those quake-inflicted people in Sichuan, including my colleagues working there, hoping they can move on in the near future," he said.
No. 3 torchbearer and Greek ambassador to China, Michael Cambanis, said: "I'm so glad to see the sacred torch is relayed from Greece, the cradle of ancient Western civilization, to China, the outstanding representative of ancient Eastern civilization."
(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2008)