BEIJING 2008: BOCOG Launches Torchbearer Selection Programme
The Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 (BOCOG) kicked off the torchbearer selection programme for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay (OTR) this weekend. The programme, which will see the selection of 21,880 torchbearers and 5,000 escort runners, will run until 31 October 2007 and will permit a number of different groups to put in place processes that will allow them to select torchbearers and escort runners for this global prelude to the 2008 Games.
The selection process for torchbearers will be carried out by a number of different organisations ranging from the cities that will host the OTR to the presenting partners of the OTR (Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lenovo). Each selection entity will be able to choose from two different methods of selection, either through an internal nominations process or through a public process, where people can nominate worthy torchbearers, who fulfil the criteria to carry the Olympic Flame on part of its journey from Olympia to Beijing.
The escort runners for the Beijing 2008 OTR will number 5,000 and will be able to run alongside the torchbearer and assist him/her in transporting the Olympic Flame to Beijing for the Opening Ceremony, playing an integral role in the celebration that is the OTR. Escort runners will be able to take part only in the section of the route that covers mainland China, with nominees being selected by local communities and the Beijing 2008 OTR presenting partners. The escort runners must fulfil the same criteria as the torchbearers, as well as some additional criteria because the escort runners’ role may require them to run for longer than each individual torchbearer.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay
The relay is expected to last 130 days and covers a distance of 137,000 kilometres, passing through the five continents and visiting some of the principal points of the ancient Silk Road. With its theme, “Journey of Harmony”, and its slogan “Light the Passion, Share the Dream”, the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay will be an opportunity for BOCOG to share its Olympic message with the world.
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will take place from 8 to 24 August 2008. The Games in Beijing will play host to the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic programme. Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in the Games, with around 20,000 accredited media bringing the Games to the world.