Olympic co-host city waiting to receive torch

March 24th, 2008 - 9:11 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, March 24 (Xinhua) Qingdao, co-host city to the Beijing Olympic Games, is keenly watching the torch relay after the Olympic flame was lit in ancient Olympia Monday. “After the torch was lit in Greece, it will travel around the world. Since the beginning of the torch relay, we will watch it closely everyday, and by doing that we know the Olympics are coming to us day by day,” Zhu Yuetao, deputy secretary of the Beijing Olympics sailing competition organising committee, said.

The 2008 Olympic torch was lit Monday in ancient Olympia, marking the start of the torch relay that will end Aug 8 with the Games’ opening ceremony.

The Beijing Games relay is the longest and most ambitious ever planned, lasting 130 days and covering 137,000 km worldwide.

As a member of the sailing organising committee, Zhu has been working on it for five years.

“Since the torch relay of the Athens Olympics, I have been waiting for the flame to come to my homeland (Qingdao), so just thinking about the lighting of the flame makes me feel thrilled!”

“The flame has told us it is time to be a nice host and entertain our guests well, so we must work much harder and hit top gear in run-up to the sailing competition,” added Zhu, also a local torch bearer.

Qingdao, a harbour city of east China’s Shandong province, will host the sailing competition Aug 9-21.

The seaside city has been preparing a first-class venue, tight security, and rapid and convenient transportation for the event.

The torch will reach Qingdao July 24 and will tour the city for six hours from 8 am to 2 pm. As many as 138 bearers will take part in the relay.

Qingdao, with clean air and beautiful scenery, is expected to attract 200,000 visitors when the sailing event is held.

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