Technicians are confident the highest-ever Olympic flame will weather the gales, sudden hail storms and thin air of Mount Qomolangma (Everest) to burn bright and beautiful on the world's tallest peak.[cnsphoto]
Technicians are confident the highest-ever Olympic flame will weather the gales, sudden hail storms and thin air of Mount Qomolangma (Everest) to burn bright and beautiful on the world's tallest peak.
Xue Li, deputy general manager of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, designer of the torch for the 2008 Games, said a lab had been established to develop a special Olympic flame combustion system, capable of overcoming the adverse natural conditions of the mountain top.
It is capable of withstanding thin air, gales, glaring sunlight and hailstones. "The flame, about 20 to 30 cm high, should be bright and very pleasant to the eye," said the delegate to the ongoing 17th Party congress.
The flame is designed to be able to weather storms with a wind speed of 24.5 to 32.6 meters per second and heavy rain with a per-hour precipitation of more than 50 mm, he said.
Xue said that besides drawing on experience from previous Olympic flame designs, the technicians have also made a number of innovations to make sure the flame can outlive wind and storms on top of the peak, which stands 8,844.43 m above sea level.
He also assured congress members that the fuel would be well stored and pollution-free.
In its bid to host the Olympics, China promised the world it would relay the torch from Olympia, Greece, the cradle of the Olympiad, to Qomolangma.
"We will live up to the commitment," said Liu Peng, head of the General Administration of Sport of China, and also a delegate to the Party congress.
The Party included reports on the 2008 Olympics and Paralymics in Beijing in its five-yearly political report at its 17th national congress, vowing to ensure the events were hosted successfully.
Liu said that apart from technological advancements to protect the Olympic flame, China also enjoyed an advantage in mountaineering, a sport with more than 40 years of history in the country.
"The Tibetan mountaineering team has so far climbed every one of the world's 14 mountains exceeding 8,000 m," Liu told journalists at a briefing on Wednesday. The technical difficulties associated with relaying TV signals from the "roof of the world" have also been solved, he said.
（英语点津 Celene 编辑）