Home / 2008 Beijing Olympic Games / 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Torch Relay / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Olympic flame parades on Great Wall in Beijing
Adjust font size:

Amid loud cheers and clapping, the Olympic flame began the the second-day relay in Beijing and took a historic run on the ancient Great Wall on Thursday morning, which was seen as a highly symbolic manifestation of exchange between Chinese and Western civilizations.

Before the torch relay, a brief opening ceremony was held at the foot of the Badaling section of the Great Wall in Yanqing County, which is one of the city's important landmarks, located more than 70 km north of downtown Beijing.

Cheerful crowd had gathered at the scene since the early morning, waving their red Chinese national flags and the white flags of the Olympics.

First torchbearer Li Zhonghua carries the Olympic torch in Beijing August 7.

First torchbearer Li Zhonghua carries the Olympic torch in Beijing August 7. [Xinhua]

At 7:10 a.m., the first torchbearer Li Zhonghua, a famous Chinese test pilot, started his stretch and ran onto the Great Wall.

"If you fail to reach the Great Wall, you are not a man," Li said after his stretch of about 50 meters, quoting a famous saying by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

"I am really honored and excited. I had been here many times, and I also piloted the plane over the Great Wall several times. But as a torchbearer of the Beijing Olympics, it is the first time, which is also the most exciting one for my life," Li told Xinhua.

Following Li, 17 other runners carried and relayed the Olympic torch by climbing up an about 900-meter section of the Great Wall. After passing through two beacon towers, the 18th torchbearer Wang Ning climbed onto the Beisi Tower and displayed the torch to the joyful crowd, marking the end of the relay on the Great Wall.

Li Zhonghua and the second torchbearer cheer after the flame is pased in Beijing August 7.

Li Zhonghua and the second torchbearer cheer after the flame is pased in Beijing August 7. [Xinhua]

Xie Mian, one of the thousands of spectators, said he came to the scene very early and was thrilled to see the Olympic torch parading on the Great Wall.

"It is heartshaking. The Olympic flame represents peace while the Great Wall, which was built for military use in ancient China, has become a symbol of peace and is visited by numerous Chinese and foreigners every year," he said.

1   2   3    

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Olympic torch relay begins final leg in Beijing
- Torch relay in Chengdu
- 1st day's torch relay in Beijing to last 4 hr
- Olympic torch relay in Leshan inspires rebuilding confidence
Most Viewed >>
- It's a boot-iful time for Liu
- Italian soccer team training session interrupted by beauties 
- European Swimming Championships
- Space-age suits race into uncharted waters
- US gives Russia shock in pre-Olympics showdown