The organizers of the Beijing Olympic Games have started
recruiting 21,880 torchbearers for the torch relay, BOCOG announced
Five percent are expected to be non-Chinese living on the
The following candidates have been recommended by Lenovo, one of
the 11 Top Partners of the International Olympic Committee and one
of the three sponsors for the torch relay. The candidates require
BOCOG's approval before they are accepted.
Kong Xiangrui, worker
Kong Xiangrui works at Tianjin Port, where he is known as the
Kong is responsible for more than 150 inventions over the past
34 years, generating 84 million yuan ($10.5 million) in profits for
his company and netting him the national Blue-collar Expert
During his five-hour journey to work, he always takes his books
with him. He takes notes while he works, recording all the problems
with the machines he uses and digging for ways to improve them. His
notes have slowly accumulated into a database.
Some of his inventions are even promoted as standard equipment
for workers in his field.
Wang Shunyou, postman
Wang Shunyou has delivered the mail in mountainous Muli Country
for 20 years.
Wang calculates that in that time he has walked the equivalent
of 6 1/2 world trips, or twice the distance of the Beijing Olympic
torch relay route.
Muli, which sits on the outskirts of southern Tibet in Liangshan Prefecture, in southwest
China's Sichuan Province, has an average altitude of
about 3,100m. The area is pockmarked by valleys with scattered
villages, making it impossible to deliver the mail by any means
other than on foot.
When Wang's father retired in 1984, somebody had to fill his
The junior Wang says he delivers about 8,400 newspapers, 330
magazines, 840 letters and 600 packages a year. And he is never
Each trip takes him 14 days. Each year, he spends 330 days on
the road and a measly 30 at home. In his career as a postman, he
claims to have walked over 260,000 km.
Pu Cunxin, actor
Pu is a household name in China for his outstanding performances
on stage and screen. In real life, he has been cast in the role of
goodwill ambassador in various public service campaigns, such as
China's campaign against AIDS.
The first person ever to play such a role in China's public
health history, Pu was appointed to the post by the Ministry of
Health in 2000 to increase public awareness about the growing
With his strong sense of mission, Pu Cunxin set up a personal
fund in 2001 to help children from affected families who face
financial difficulties in going to school. Over 200 children have
gained support from the fund, which Pu has invested over 1 million
Pu is also involved in the fight against drugs, and gives
regular blood donations.
Last year, he registered to be a volunteer for the 2008 Beijing
Shen Xue/Zhao Hongbo, figure skaters
As a world champion couple, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo lifted
China's figure skating to the top of the world rankings.
Since teaming up 15 years ago, they have won three world
championship titles, two Olympic bronze medals, and numerous Grand
After deciding to take a break from their sporting careers at
the beginning of this year upon winning their third world title,
they withdrew from all competitions and began running a club in
Shenzhen to promote the sport in China.
The pair wed at the end of May.
(China Daily June 29, 2007)