Olympics 2008 »Journey of Torch
The journey of the Olympic torch

The Olympic flame began its journey around the world ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The journey is split in two parts - the international leg and the domestic leg. In different legs of the torch run, several attempts have been made by pro-Tibetan activists to snuff out the torch.

After the torch is lit in Ancient Olympia, it was flown to Beijing, where it was split in to two - one for the international leg and the other for the domestic leg.

Here is the route of the Olympic torch.

International leg

Greece: The Olympic flame was lit up at the Ancient Olympics site. Actress Maria Nafpliotou ignited the torch of the first torchbearer, silver medalist Alexandros Nikolaidis. He passed the flame on to the second torch bearer, Luo Xuejuan of China, who had won laurels in women's breaststroke event.

During the torch lighting ceremony in Greece, pro-Tibet activists tried to disrupt the ceremony calling for a boycott of the Beijing Games.

Despite the brief disruption, the Olympic flame began its 130-day, 85,000 mile journey, from ancient Olympia in Greece to Beijing. Before heading for its next destination, the flame was taken throughout Greece.

China: From Greece, the flame was taken to China.

Hundreds of protestors demonstrated in Beijing, Wuhan, Hefei, Kumming and Qingdao for the boycott of the games.

Kazakhstan: The Olympic flame arrived for the first time ever in Almaty. The torchbearer was none other than the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev. They torch covered a 20 km route from Medeo Stadium to Astana Square. Uighur activists tried to disrupt the Olympic flame relay.

Turkey: The next destination of the Olympic flame was Istanbul. The torch relay began from Sultanahmet Square and got over at the Taksim Square. During the torch run, authorities cracked down on Uighur activists, who tried to disrupt the relay.

Russia: Next destination for the Olympic torch was St. Petersburg. The flame traversed a 20 km route beginning from Victory Square and culminated at the Palace Square.

United Kingdom: Next halt for the flame was London. The torch relay began from Wembley Stadium and passed through the city of London and ended at O2 Arena in the eastern part of the city covering almost 48 km. Several pro-Tibetan protestors tried to disrupt the relay, prompting changes in the planned route.

Of the 80 torchbearers in London, Sir Steve Redgrave, who started the relay, received mail threats to boycott it. Francesca Martinez and Richard Vaughan refused to carry the torch.

Once in London, Prime Minister Gordon Brown welcomed the torch outside 10 Downing Street. Tight security arrangements were made for the relay and authorities arrested several pro-Tibetan activists who tied to interrupt the relay.

In Ladbroke Grove, a demonstrator tried to snatch the torch but was detained. In another incident, a fire extinguisher was set off near the torch. Despite all the odds, the situation was put under control and the spirit of the relay was maintained.

Chinese Ambassador carried the torch through Chinatown. However, the route was changed due to security concerns. The torch made an unscheduled move onto a bus at the Fleet Street due to evade the protestors.

More than 2000 protestors had gathered along side the torch route. They demonstrated with signs, banners and flags.

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Medals Tally (Beijing 2008)
Country G S B T
1. China 51 21 28 100
2. USA 36 38 36 110
3. Russia 23 21 28 72
4. Britain 19 13 15 47
5. Germany 16 10 15 41
6. Australia 14 15 17 46
7. S Korea 13 10 8 31
8. Japan 9 6 10 25
9. Italy 8 10 10 28
10. France 7 16 17 40
50. India 1 0 2 3
View complete tally »
Medals Tally ( Athens 2004)
We are proud of Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar and Bijender Kumar. Congratulations to all of them. I hope now the corporate world and media in the country will concentrate more on games other than cricket.
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