In Moscow, China made a solemn commitment to the world: The Olympic Flame will be carried to the peak of Mount Qomolangma (Everest). As the Olympic Games draw near, the eyes of the world are on the Olympic Torch Relay, which will carry the Olympic Flame on a journey of 137,000 kilometers in 130 days. March 15, China.org.cn was granted an exclusive interview with Li Ping, spokeswoman of the BOCOG Torch Relay Center.
China.org.cn: Why hold a Torch Relay? What is its significance?
Li Ping:The Olympic Torch Relay is both a prelude to the Olympic Games, and one of the most brilliant and most exciting parts of the Games. The Olympic Torch Relay is a hugely influential promotional activity, second only to the Olympic Games themselves. Its significance is fourfold:
First of all, this is the way that the world, especially the Olympic host country, announces the start of the Olympic Games by passing the torch from hand to hand across the world. The aim of the event is to arouse global attention, and stimulate public participation, enthusiasm and passion for the success of the Games.
The slogan of the torch relay is "Light the Passion, Share the Dream." I like this phrase very much. I think it fits well with the theme of the torch relay: "Journey of Harmony." It vividly expresses the significance of the relay.
Secondly, the torch relay is the most direct way for the public to participate in the Olympiad. Only a few top athletes have the talent to participate in the Games, and the number of spectators is also limited. The Torch Relay gives everyone the opportunity to participate in the Olympics, to experience the passion and joy expressed by the Olympic Flame.
Thirdly, the Torch Relay spreads the Olympic spirit and is a very effective way to promote awareness of the Olympics. I just said that everyone can participate in person, so many families, together with their children, will be able to experience and feel the Olympic spirit at first hand.
Another point I would like to mention is that, the torch relay will provide a great opportunity for participant cities to showcase their unique cultures, natural beauty and achievements. The world will gain a better understanding of the cities that the torch relay passes through. Many cities are keen to participate in the relay.