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Zhang Jiangting, Secretary of Yantai Municipal Committee and Director of Yantai People''s Congress Standing Committee, holds the torch, accompanied by Wu Qi, Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee.
Ancient Olympia is ignited in Haiyang


17 Apr 2012
Haiyang, China: The wonder of Olympia in ancient Greece was transported to a small corner of Shandong province on Tuesday morning for a flame-lighting ceremony full of grace and rich in symbolism to mark the 60-day countdown to the OCA’s 3rd Asian Beach Games. On a glorious morning, with the Yellow Sea a shimmering blue under bright spring sunshine, the flame was lit in grand, ceremonial style as government leaders from Shandong province, Yantai city and Haiyang municipality looked on.

An Jing, a 21-year-old dance student from Jilin province in north-east China, had the honour of lighting the flame from the sun’s rays, pointing a torch into the ignition mechanism inside a giant sea shell. An was one of 17 statuesque girls selected for the ceremony, their sparkling white costumes reflecting the spirit and history of ancient Olympia.

Senior government officials then displayed the torch to the audience, before the flame was transferred to a lamp ready for the start of the Torch Relay on June 12 in Jinan, capital city of Shandong province. The ceremony, which took place in Phoenix Square, in front of the giant Asian Beach Games emblem, began with the arrival of the flags of China and the Olympic Council of Asia, accompanied by the two anthems.

Across the road from the official ceremony, spectators were entertained by traditional Haiyang folk dancing and music. The 3rd Asian Beach Games run from June 16-22 and will feature 49 events in 13 sports.
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