Torch begins three-day trek past iconic Beijing landmarks

BEIJING : Beijing kicked off the Winter Olympics torch relay on Wednesday during which more than 1,000 torch-bearers will carry the flame past historical landmarks including the Great Wall.

The three-day relay began with a launch ceremony at the Olympic Forest Park in the Chinese capital under clear, blue skies.

The torch will then make its way past the Summer Palace and the Badaling section of the Great Wall in the north of Beijing.

At one stop, the torch will be passed underwater by amphibious robots and at another it will be moved by autonomous vehicles.

Stops also include Games venues such as Zhangjiakou in neighbouring Hebei province, where some ski events will be held.

The flame was lit in Greece in October last year before being flown in a red lantern resembling a Han Dynasty artefact to Beijing.

Due to COVID-19, the scale of the relay is modest compared with the 130-day, 137,000 km (85,130 mile) odyssey ahead of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.

The relay will end on Friday night, when the last torch-bearer lights the Olympic cauldron at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, where the 2008 opening ceremony was also held.

The Winter Games, beginning on Friday, will end on Feb. 20.

(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian, Norihiko Shirouzu, Jing Xu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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