2nd day of Beijing 2022 torch relay kicks off in Yanqing
Published: Feb 03, 2022 06:22 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

On Thursday morning, the torch relay of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games entered the second day of its three-day schedule in Beijing's Yanqing district. A total of 47 torchbearers carried the torch over 1.47 km route along the Badaling section of the Great Wall in freezing minus 18 C conditions. 

Ma Long, the multi-time Olympic gold medalist who is hailed as the GOAT (greatest of all time) in table tennis served as the first torchbearer of the Yanqing leg. 

"The Beijing Winter Olympics is the most anticipated event for all the Chinese people," he told media on the site. "I am very happy to participate in the Winter Olympics as a torchbearer. I believe that it will continue the success of the 2008 Summer Olympics."

Ma said that he believes the Winter Olympics will make more people fall in love with winter sports, inspire them to sharpen their mind and body through those sports and constantly challenge themselves. 

"Although I haven't really participated in winter sports, I have been following the winter sport events, especially short track speed skating and figure skating," he told media on the site. 

Another torchbearer Wu Jingyu, who is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist and Vice President of the China Taekwondo Association recalled the four Olympic Games she had participated in. 

"As a participant of two Olympic Games held in Beijing, I am proud of the country," she said. "I will cheer for the Winter Olympics as a Beijing citizen."

Torchbearer Yang Qian, the winner of Team China's first gold medal at Tokyo 2020, said it is a great honor to be a torchbearer, and sent wishes to all the Winter Olympics athletes. 

"The most important thing is to have confidence in yourselves and have focus," she said. "I hope all athletes can present their best performances during the Olympics, realize their dreams and honor their countries."

Other torchbearers participating in the relay include famous actor Jackie Chan, Olympic medalist Pang Qing, and national first-class actor Chen Gangsheng. 

The Badaling section of the Great Wall commands a strategic position in history and was an important military pass and an important line of defense for the capital city Beijing. It was also an important site of torch relay for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games. 

The site of the torch relay symbolizes the Chinese people's courage and invulnerability to intimidation, according to the Organizing Committee. 

On Thursday afternoon, the torch passed through neighboring Zhangjiakou city, North China's Hebei Province. 

Thursday being the third day of the Chinese New Year, the local residents in Yanqing also put on a traditional silk lantern show and dance performances ahead of the torch relay, expressing their anticipation for the Winter Olympics and celebrating an auspicious year. 

Friday will be the third and final day of Beijing 2022's torch relay, which will take place in the Summer Palace in center Beijing.

About 1,200 torchbearers from all walks of life are participating in the three-day torch relay. Foreigners from more than 20 countries and regions are also among the torchbearers for the event.