Olympic flame lit in Beijing ahead of February’s Winter Games – National

China lit its Olympic flame in Beijing on Wednesday after the ceremonial torch arrived from Athens, forward of the Chinese language capital’s internet hosting of the 2022 Winter Video games in February.

The Winter Video games might be held from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20, when Beijing will develop into the primary metropolis to host each the summer time and winter Olympics, amid a COVID-19 pandemic which means abroad spectators might be excluded.

At a welcome ceremony held close to the Nationwide Stadium, formed like a chook’s nest and constructed for the 2008 Summer season Video games, Beijing Communist Get together chief Cai Qi lit a cauldron to symbolise the arrival of the Olympic flame in China.

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The flame had left Athens on Oct. 19 and travelled to Beijing in a crimson lantern designed within the likeness of a Han Dynasty tomb artefact, carried by torchbearers decked in white.

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China will show the Olympic flame at Beijing’s Olympic Park from Wednesday. In early February subsequent yr, 1,200 torchbearers will carry the flame by the cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou and the district of Yanqing, that are the competitors venues.

The torch relay route has been “appropriately lowered” because of the want to protect in opposition to the unfold of COVID-19, stated Beijing Vice Mayor Zhang Jiandong on the ceremony.

The ceremony went off and not using a hitch on Wednesday in Beijing, the place, like elsewhere in China, safety is often tight.

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At a ceremony in Athens on Oct. 18 handy over the flame to China, three protesters unfurled a banner studying “No Genocide Video games” and waved a Tibetan flag.

Rights teams have referred to as for a boycott of the Beijing video games to protest in opposition to what they termed as human rights atrocities in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. China has rejected these claims.

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Greece’s Olympic Committee (HOC) stated it was upset the Athens ceremony had been used for political functions.

(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Enhancing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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