Special report: 2008 Olympic
BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) -- The planned international route of the Beijing
2008 Paralympic torch relay was cancelled, announced the Beijing 2008 Organizing
Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) here on Wednesday.
Due to the devastating May 12 earthquake that struck China, BOCOG has
decided to modify arrangements for the Paralympic torch relay under the
principle of "safe, simple and effective".
According to BOCOG, those changes have been made to afford the Chinese
government to focus on the rescue and relief work and show support for the
people affected by the earthquake.
Changes to the Paralympic torch relay include shortened domestic routes
calling off four stops of Chengdu, Chongqing, Urumqi and Tianjin, simplified
procedures and the cancellation of the international route of the relay which
was due to pass through Vancouver in Canada, London in Britain and Sochi in
Russia. Besides, the Hong Kong stop was also snuffed out.
Nevertheless, the committee welcomes all overseas torch bearers to join the
domestic relay, a BOCOG official told Xinhua.
The official expressed BOCOG's thanks to the International Paralympic
Committee, the National Paralympic Committee of countries concerned, the
international community as well as the government and people from the four
cities -- Vancouver, London, Sochi and the Chinese Special Administrative Region
of Hong Kong.
The BOCOG will spare no effort on holding both the Olympic and Paralympic
Games, the official said.
The Beijing 2008 Paralympic torch relay was to be the first to include an
international leg. The BOCOG announced the planned torch relay routes last
September, including 16 domestic legs, 3 international legs and Hong Kong.