Wang Liqun, a Chinese celebrity professor who gained great popularity after giving lectures in a national TV program, came in spotlight on Saturday as a torchbearer of the Beijing Olympic Games in central China's Henan Province.
He was the first torchbearer in the Kaifeng City relay, which was the second leg of the torch's stay in Henan.
"This is the most exciting moment in my life," the 63-year-old torchbearer said with the torch in hand.
"The traditional Chinese culture of constantly striving for success bears great similarities with the Olympic spirit, which lays emphasis on perseverance and participation," he added.
Wang said he was lucky because there are only 300 people in the world who can be the first torchbearer in a city.
"I feel greatly honored to pass the flame of passion and further spread the Olympic glee to more people," he noted.
Having been a history teacher for more than 40 years, Wang shot to fame after giving lectures in a China Central Television program on Chinese history, the most influential one in the country.
"We love him because of his witty words and approachable style," said one of his students and loyal fans, standing in crowds of cheering people alongside the road.
(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2008)