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Author Topic: 2008 Olympics: China to hold torch relay over Everest  (Read 3910 times)

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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2003 12:12:59 PM
(from the times of India)
BEIJING: China has decided to hold a spectacular torch relay over Mt Everest in May 2008 during which the holy fire of the Beijing Olympic Games would be carried over the world's highest mountain.
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Speaking at the symposium on Olympic torch relay on Tuesday, spokesman for the Beijing Organising Committee of the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG), Sun Weijia said the organisers have made a preliminary schedule for the torch relay.
"We shall choose a right time under favourable weather conditions to accomplish the mission," Sun said.

According to the plan, the torch is expected to reach the peak of Mt Qomolangma (Chinese name for Mt Everest) from the southern slope before the mountaineers carry it down along the northern slope.

Preparation efforts for the relay race are already under way, Sun said.

"We're going to select around 80 climbers aged 18 to 23 later this year," he said. "From then on, they will undergo specialised training for torch relay on mountains."

Beijing had promised in its bidding reports that the holy fire of the Olympics will reach the world's highest peak. A Chinese mountaineering team has scaled Mt Everest in May this year, which was seen as a trial of the relay.

"We shall have a rehearsal in the same season in 2007 so that we can gain experiences for the torch relay," Sun said.


Meanwhile, experts have hailed China's decision to hold a torch relay to Mt Everest.

Steven J Mccarthy, international torch relay director for the 2004 Athens Olympics, said he was not surprised that Beijing organisers came up with the idea of making Mt Everest a site on the 2008 Olympic torch relay route.

"I'm not surprised at all ... and they (the Chinese) are so creative about what they do. They can make everything happen in this country," Mccarthy said.

Di Henry, who was in charge of organisation of the torch relay for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, also supported the idea.

"It's fantastic, very, very fantastic," said Henry.
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
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