Calling all foreigners! If you are above 14 years of age, have lived in China for at least a year, and will be here till at least the opening of the Olympic games next year, this could be your chance-of-a-lifetime to be an Olympic torch bearer! As with all things in China though, you will be put through a very rigorous selection process, so aspiring torch-bearers, please make sure you fulfill the following five BOCOG torchbearer selection criteria:
1. Promote the relationship between China and other parts of the world in their professional fields of economics and trade, politics, culture, sports, or science and technology;
2. Love Chinese culture and history;
3. Be devoted to communicate information of a real China to their native countries;
4. Uphold the Olympic spirit of constant exploration and pursuing excellence; and
5. Contribute to the building of a harmonious society.
An Internet vote will pick out 100 candidates who will then proceed to the next round to be determined by a selection panel.
Think you can run those 400 meters without fainting? Then log on to this page, submit a photograph of yourself looking nice and fit, and write a 500-word essay entitled “China and I”. But remember:
The essay should cover a true, touching part of “my story in China” and a statement of the reason “why I should be chosen as an Olympic torchbearer.”
And oh, by the way, all essays need to be in English. Read: No German, no French, no Spanish, no Italian, no Japanese and no Korean (don’t ask us why). And to all the Esperanto aficionados that have been reading this blog, sorry to disappoint you, but no Esperanto as well.
Photo of Beijing Olympic torch from Claire Forlani.