After six days of traveling across Greece, March 31 saw the Olympic flame finally land on Chinese soil, symbolizing the successful handover of the holy flame from one ancient civilization to another. The Olympic flame from its home in Heraeum, Greece, was used to ignite a bronze cauldron at Tiananmen Square, marking the start of the 137,000-km trip for the Olympic torch.
The flame, symbolizing peace, friendship and hope, is the incarnation of Olympic ideals and spirit. Having transcended divisions in politics, religions and cultures, the flame shows the human race's pursuit for courage and all that is good in people. Since the birth of the modern Olympics, the ignition of the sacred flame has on every occasion stimulated people's passion for the Olympic dream, inspiring the wish for peace, friendship and progress throughout the world.
The theme of this torch relay is "a trip of harmony." This theme conforms to the Olympic spirit. Through sport, we can promote harmony and cooperation among all peoples and build a peaceful society with dignity for all. This is an in-depth explanation of the theme of Beijing Olympic Games-"one world, one dream."
In the coming months, as a symbol of the Chinese people's pursuit of the Olympic spirit, along the ancient Silk Road both on land and sea, the Olympic torch will take a round-the-world trip, covering 21 cities on the five continents and 113 Chinese cities and towns across 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. In the process, the torch will also be taken to the top of Mount Qomolangma (Mount Everest)-the highest point on the Earth. A record total of 21,000 torchbearers from home and abroad will jointly take part in the longest and most difficult torch relay in Olympic history. As the 29th Olympic Games torch relay logo says, the Beijing Olympics will "light the passion and share the dream" and through the handover of the torch, spread the Olympic spirit of understanding, friendship, solidarity and fair competition throughout the world.
This is a critical moment in the process of preparing for the upcoming Olympics. On August 8, the Beijing Olympics will stage its opening ceremony. The start of the Olympic torch relay signifies the approach of this exciting moment.
On March 31, Chinese President Hu Jintao lit the flame at the welcome ceremony, announcing the launch of the relay of the Beijing Olympic torch, extending to the rest of the world the wishes and commitment of the Chinese Government and the Chinese people: China welcomes all those who are interested in the Olympic Games and will try to present to the whole world an excellent sporting event.