Olympic flame arrives in China

20 Oct 2021
IOC News Beijing 2022

Following yesterday’s handover ceremony in Athens, the Olympic flame arrived today in China, making Beijing the first city ever to welcome the flame for both the summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games.

The Olympic flame is seen during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Flame Welcoming Ceremony at Beijing 2021 Getty Images

The Olympic flame arrived at Beijing Capitol Airport at around 7 a.m. local time on 20 October in a safety lantern, inspired by an ancient Chinese lamp called “Changxin”, signifying light and hope. Following a brief ceremony at the airport, the flame was then transported to Beijing Olympic Tower for an official welcoming ceremony.

At the ceremony, the flame was taken from the lantern and used to light a Beijing 2022 Olympic torch. Cai Qi, President of the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee, then used the torch to ignite the Beijing 2022 Olympic celebration cauldron on the podium as guests from Beijing and Heibei Province watched on. The Olympic flame will be kept at Beijing Olympic Tower on display for the general public.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and measures in place to strictly follow prevention and control requirements, the format of the Olympic Torch Relay has been adapted. It was decided to reduce the traditional relay route length and duration and the number of torchbearers to ensure the relay is held in a safe and orderly manner.

2021 Getty Images

The Olympic flame will also be displayed at the sites of some Beijing 2022 TOP and local official partner offices, and travel to different areas of the country known for their history and culture of ice and snow sports.

“Through the unique formats and methods with Chinese characteristics, we hope that people all over the world can experience China’s vibrant sports culture and appreciate the enthusiasm of every Chinese person to participate in and support the Olympic Games,” said Wang Xiangyu, Deputy Director General of the Beijing 2022 Culture and Ceremonies Department.

There will be a traditional Olympic Torch Relay for the three days prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on 4 February. The Olympic flame will be carried by approximately 1,200 torchbearers in the Beijing, Zhangjiakou and Yanqing competition zones.

From its lighting in Ancient Olympia, Greece, the Olympic flame connects the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games with every previous edition of the Games and its heritage back millennia to the historic Olympic Games of Ancient Greece.

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