2008 Summer Paralympics torch relay

The torch relay for the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games was held between August 28 and September 6 in eleven cities, and also included the tomb of Yellow Emperor.

Planned Route

In 2007, the BOCOG announced the torch relay route, composed of three parts:

Change of the route

In June 2008, the Beijing Games' Organizing Committee announced that the planned four international torch relay cities and four national cities for the Paralympic Games had been cancelled. The Committee stated that the relay was being cancelled to enable the Chinese government to "focus on the rescue and relief work" following the Sichuan earthquake. The torch relay was held exclusively within China.[2]

Despite the officially stated reason for the cancellation, The Guardian attributed it to China's wish to avoid "a repeat of the protests" which had occurred in a number of cities around the world during the Olympics torch relay.[3] Similarly, The Times wrote: "China has cancelled the international leg of the Paralympic torch relay, which was due to pass through London, in an apparent attempt to avoid similar protests to those that dogged the Olympic torch’s global tour."[4] Reuters reported simply: "China, whose Beijing Olympic torch relay was dogged by protest overseas, on Wednesday cancelled the international leg of the Paralympic torch relay, giving the devastating Sichuan earthquake as the reason."[5]

Details of the Chinese routes: Lightning ceremony, Ancient Chinese route, Modern Chinese route, Opening ceremony

The relay started from Tiantan on August 28 and then divided to two parallel lines before coming together in Beijing:[6]

The route of Modern China

  1. Beijing
  2. Shenzhen
  3. Wuhan
  4. Shanghai
  5. Qingdao
  6. Dalian
  7. Beijing

The route of Ancient China

  1. Beijing
  2. Xi'an
  3. Hohhot
  4. Changsha
  5. Nanjing
  6. Luoyang
  7. Beijing


Relay Summary

Route City Date Place Start from Ends at Length(km) Torchbearers(Disabled Torchbearers) First Torchbearer First Torchbearer's Title Last Torchbearer Last Torchbearer's Title References
The Route of Ancient China Xi'an Aug 29, 2008 On the city wall Tower of East Gate Barbicans of the South Gate 3.1 70(11) Zhang Hui one of China's National Top Ten Disabled Athletes Li Huimin a disabled entrepreneur [8]
Huhehaote Aug 30, 2008 Genghis Khan Square Hohhot Stadium 3.1 70 Yang Zhimin Chairman of the Disabled People Association of Inner Mongolia Chen Guoyi Disabled entrepreneur [9]
Changsha Aug 31, 2008 Changsha Women's and Children's Center Hunan Swimming Center 3 70(13) Zhu Weimin Swimming Gold Medalist in Atlanta Paralympic Tan Yuehua Disabled Police [10]
Nanjing Sep 2, 2008 Boai Square, Zhongshan Tomb Jinshuiqiao Square, Ming Xiao Tomb 3 60(12) Hou Jingjing First wheelchair female doctor of china, vice professor of Nanjing Normal University Zhou Zengfu Coach of Paralympic Athletic [11]
Luoyang Sep 4, 2008 Longmen Grotto Longmen Grotto Longmen Stone Square 3 60(9) Zhu Hongyan WR holder and Paralympic Gold Medalist Liu Zhengwei Executive secretary of the Luoyang Disable Persons' Association [12]
The Route of Modern China Shenzhen Aug 30, 2008 Mountain Lotus Statue of Deng Xiaoping Baiyi Square 3.1 70(20%±) Liu Hong 4th in Women's 20 km Walk in Beijing Olympic Shen Jianping Photographer with one arm [13]
Wuhan Aug 31, 2008 Wuhan Economic and Technology Development Zone Wuhan Sports Center Stadium Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium 3 60(10) Cheng Yu Bronze Medalist of Women's Single TT6 and Gold Medallist of Women's Team TT6 of Seoul Paralympics Wen Qin Athletic Gold Medallists of FESPIC Games [14]
Shanghai Sep 1, 2008 Songjiang New City Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade Shanghai Sunshine Recover Center 3 60(10) Zhao Jihong Athletic Gold Medallists of 1984 New York Paralympics Pang Jiaying Swimming Silver Medalists and Bronze medalists of 2008 Beijing Olympics [15]
Qingdao Sep 2, 2008 Square of the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center May 4th Square 4.25(1 km over the sea) 70(20%) Wu Chunmiao Gold Medalist of Women's 200m T11 in 2004 Athens Paralympics Zhou Yafei Bronze Medalists of Women's 4X100m Medley Relay in 2008 Beijing Olympics [16]
Dalian Sep 3, 2008 Xinghai Square Dalian Forest Park 3.8 70(14) Li Yang Chairman of the Dalian Disable Persons' Association Li Jinrui Vice Chairman of CCP Dalian Committee [17]
Beijing Sep 5, 2008 China Millennium Monument and Summer Palace China Millennium Monument 17 hole bridge of Summer Palace(include a "之" Shape over sea relay) 6.5 120(30%) Wang Juan Paralympic Athletic and Fencing Athlete Zhou Hua President of Beijing East City District Special Education School [18]
Sep 6, 2008 Chaoyang Park Lihua Square Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Field 5.5 120(40) Xu Yuansheng Coach of China Wheelchair Basketball Team Zhao Jihua Former President of China National Disabled People Association [19]

Final Relay in Main Stadium

Chinese athletes with disabilities carried the torch in Beijing National Stadium during the Games' Opening Ceremony. Jin Jing carried the torch into the stadium, before it was passed on to Paralympic gold medallists Wu Yunhu, Zhang Hongwei, Zhang Haidong, Sun Changting and Hou Bin. Hou then pulled himself up on a rope to the top of the stadium to light the Paralympic flame.[20][21]

See also


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