Tiananmen Square has seen many historically important events in it’s time, and will no doubt see many more. Today as Tiananmen was the site of Beijing’s official welcome to the Olympic torch and the beginning of the torch’s relay around the world, another colourful panel to this rich tapestry was woven. How important this will be in the long run, the following months will tell.
Watch it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/video/2008/mar/31/olympics
Such is the anticipation of the Olympics, both in China and abroad, that when China’s Vice President Xi Jinping stated that a century of expectations were being met, it didn’t feel like an exaggeration.
Never one to do things on a small scale (think Great Wall, Shanghai World Financial Centre, Three Gorges Dam, Maglev) the Beijing Olympic torch relay will be the longest ever. Vital statistics: 130 days, 19 countries, 21 cities, 5 continents, and 85,000 miles (the official estimate for the number of protests expected en-route has not been publish). Not only this, but there will in fact be a second Olympic flame, one which will clime the heights of Mount Everest – a typically pragmatic solution from the Chinese authorities (if only we could all be in two places at once, one of us could complete official duties while the other scaled the peaks of the Himalayas).
The torch will be in London on Sunday (6th April) and BOB intends to be there to oversee proceedings.