San Francisco to Launch Beijing Olympic Torch Relay

The City and County of San Francisco launched the torchbearer selection process for the San Francisco leg of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay on Thursday, according to a U.S. Olympic Committee press release reaching here. Residents of North America are invited to submit online applications until Feb. 3, to be considered as one of the torchbearers who will make history on April 9 when the Olympic Torch travels throughout the city. San Francisco is the only North American stop on the worldwide 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in advance of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

"The Olympic Torch represents the journey for excellence," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "And we are honored to have the opportunity to host and contribute to the Beijing Olympic Journey of Harmony. Here in San Francisco, we are on our own journey for a sustainable future. This is our chance to showcase how local innovation and excellence -- in fitness, environmental initiatives and sustainable business practices -- can be examples for the world." The 2008 Olympic Torch Relay, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company, Samsung and Lenovo, will begin with the lighting of the Flame in Olympia, Greece, on March 24, 2008.

After its arrival in Beijing on March 31, the torch will start its journey on April 1, traveling to 22 international cities, including San Francisco, before returning to mainland China where it will traverse the country for more than three months. Having been carried by more than 21,000 runners, the Flame will enter the Olympic Stadium as part of the Opening Ceremony of the XXIX Olympiad on Aug. 8, 2008. Source.

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