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Speech at the Olympic Torch Forum

Mr. Tu Mingde, Assistant President of BOCOG

      Ladies and Gentlemen,

      Good morning! First, please let me express my congratulations to the Olympic Torch Forum on behalf of BOCOG! I also would like to extend my warm welcome to both foreign and domestic experts and scholars. I would like to thank the sponsors of this forum and the media reporting the forum.

      Cultural activities play a very important role in the Olympics, and the two can at no time be separated. Combining sports and culture not only explores new territory for cultural development, but also makes the Olympic Games a more cultural and more attractive sports event. Only through the involvement of culture does the Olympic Games become a great event that people around the world await with great expectations.

      "Green Olympics, Technology Olympics and Cultural Olympics" are the three concepts of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Among the concepts, "Cultural Olympics" has the richest and most profound significance. The purpose of holding the forum is to carry out the three concepts, especially Cultural Olympics, and to bring forth the splendid Chinese culture so as to enhance related academic studies.

      The Olympic fire was lit in Amsterdam in 1928. The Olympic torch relay was held in Berlin in 1936. Since then it has always been a vastly important part of the Olympics and symbol of the Olympic spirit. The fire of the Olympics represents holiness, sports and the pursuit for world peace which are all reflected in the Olympic spirit.

      The plan for the torch relay for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is far from unveiled. However we are here at this forum discussing the operating mode for the torch relay, especially the plan for the Olympic torch to be passed across Mount Everest, and taking pleasure in sharing our experiences. No doubt, the forum will impel a more mature and practical plan for the torch relay of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Here, right now, we are offering our initial efforts in making the coming torch relay the best in world Olympic history.

      I now declare the start the Torch Forum of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

      Thank you!

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