2022 Winter Olympic torch relay kicked off in Beijing

Publish: 9:22 PM, February 2, 2022

Sino Bangla Online Desk: The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic torch relay kicked off in the Chinese capital on Wednesday.

The relay got underway at the Olympic Forest Park with a launch ceremony at the South Gate, with the torch set to make its way through the Beijing Winter Olympic Park before reaching the Shougang Park by 19:00 in the evening.

The first three runners in the relay were Luo Zhihuan, an 80-year-old former speed skater who won China’s first winter sports world championship title in 1963, followed by veteran astronaut Jing Haipeng, and aerospace engineer Ye Peijian, who designed China’s Chang’e-1 lunar orbiting satellite.

Retired Chinese basketball star Yao Ming also ran for a leg, before handing over to the Greek ambassador to China Georgios Iliopoulos.

More than 1,000 torchbearers will carry the flame through competition areas in downtown Beijing, its northwestern suburban district of Yanqing, and the neighboring city of Zhangjiakou before the opening ceremony on Friday evening.

The relay route will include one independent region inside the closed-loop Olympic Village and 11 regions outside the Olympic Village, which will take place behind closed doors following strict COVID-19 countermeasures.

The Beijing Winter Olympic Games will officially get underway with Friday’s opening ceremony at the iconic National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, with the sporting competitions running through to February 20.