Beijing Olympic organizers (BOCOG) Saturday announced its plan to recruit torch bearers for the longest relay route in Olympic history.
BOCOG has planned to have a total of 21,880 torch bearers both home and abroad for the 137,000km torch relay route which will also cover the world's highest peak Mount Qomolangma.
"There are two ways of becoming a torch bearer," said Jiang Xiaoyu, executive vice president of BOCOG. "The first one is through recommendations by various organizations and institutions." These organizations and institutions, Jiang said, included the Chinese mainland's local governments, Chinese Olympic Committee, Beijing Torch Relay Presenting Partners, the Olympic Family as well as cities on the relay route and BOCOG.
"Another way is an open process in which public recommendations are accepted," he said.
In addition, 5,000 escort runners will be selected on the Chinese mainland exclusively for the relay.
"In a few days, the public will know how to relay as respective organizations and institutions will announce their own application process," said Jiang. "But none of them are allowed to add additional requirements to the existing ones."
BOCOG has set no limits on gender, career, nationality or health conditions but Jiang said the applicants had better be older than 14.
Foreigners can account for at most five percent of torch bearers on the Chinese mainland which will have 19,400 in total. People with a disability are welcomed to take part.
The deadline for submitting applications is October 31 before the BOCOG make the final confirmation before December 30 this year.
The Beijing Olympics holy flame will be lit in March next year in Greece before kicking off its 130-day journey.