In the Olympic torch relay Jingzhou leg, central China's Hubei province on Monday, 18 foreigners from different countries such as the United States, Japan, and Greece were attractive in the team of torch bearers.
"The Olympic sacred flame relay is a window, through which more foreigners can know better about China in aspects like the Chinese zeal for the Olympics, passion for their country and compatriots, and the Chinese profound culture," said No. 93 torch carrier Guo Yiguang, an American Chinese.
She told Xinhua that as an American Chinese, she has deeply perceived the differences of two cultural systems in China and the western countries."People need to understand each other.The torch relay provides more foreigners a chance to come to China and make friends with Chinese."
No.188 torch bearer, James Zimmerman, chairman of American Chamber of Commerce in China said he was very proud of representing his fellow members to deliver the Olympic torch in Jingzhou.
"We have been making efforts to build bridges of friendship between China and the United States, promoting the mutual understanding and communication. The torch provides a good opportunity for the two sides to know each other."
An American student studying Chinese in China said all this was out of respect and love from the whole nation for the victims in the terrible earthquake.
"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 overcome difficulties and move on in the near future," said Guan Dehui.
The torch relay also makes some foreigners touch the profound culture of China, this ancient country with 5,000 history.
The American torch carrier, Jonathan Kos-Read, loves reading a Chinese famous novel, "Romance of Three Kingdoms". He even gave himself a Chinese name "Cao Cao", a brilliant strategist's name in Three Kingdoms Period of China more than 1700 years ago.
He was so excited to deliver the torch in Jingzhou, for most of episodes of the novel happened in Jingzhou. "I'm so excited to step on this land. The torch relay makes my 'Three Kingdoms' dream come true!"
Greek ambassador to China Michael Cambanis, No. 3 torch bearer in Jingzhou leg, also relayed the flames from his homeland Greece on the Nine Dragon Bridge in the ancient city.
"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," he said.
Guan Dehui, the president of United Technologies Corporations in China was the No. 186 torch bearer. "Olympic torch relay delivers the ideas of unity, progress, equality, and friendship. I am so excited to have this good chance to be one of the members in the Beijing Olympic Games."
The torch relay makes numerous foreigners feel the enthusiasm in Olympics from ordinary people.
During the three-day relay in Hubei Province, people in cities of Wuhan, Yichang, and Jingzhou all cheered up with the coming sacred flame. The cities became the red sea of national flags.
Viewing thousands of Chinese waving red flags and signs such as "One World, One Dream, One China" in torch relay, Italian sports correspondent Francesco, also No. 95 torch bearer, said, "The torch relay is to pass on the Olympic spirit. The Games actually is a grand party and sports meeting."
"The Chinese are so enthusiastic to the sacred flame and well cultivate this atmosphere."
The torch relay also let foreigners see the nation's unity, love and deep emotion for the compatriots in the earthquake-hit areas of southwestern China's Sichuan Province.
At the launching ceremonies of every torch relay legs, all the torch bearers and spectators mourned for the victims. Donation activities were launched during the relay. Many torch bearers and spectators came up to the charity box, doing their shares for the reconstruction in the Sichuan quake region.
(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2008)