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China Says Olympic Torch Will Burn on Mount Everest


Chinese scientists say they are confident the Olympic torch for the 2008 Beijing Games can be taken to the world's highest peak, Mount Everest, and kept alight.

State-media reports Wednesday quote experts who say they have completed three successful trials to make sure the torch can continue to burn in strong winds and sub-freezing temperatures.

Ma Lin, director of the Beijing Science and Technology Commission, says he is confident the flame will be visible on broadcast television, which was another concern.

China's Olympic organizers say the torch will be taken to Mount Everest in May and a torchbearer team will attempt to take it to the peak on a day when the weather is suitable for the ascent.

Mount Everest (known in China as Mt. Qomolangma) is on the border between Nepal and Tibet, and stands nearly nine-thousand (8848) meters high.

The Olympic torch is scheduled to be lit in March in Greece, the ancient location of the Olympic Games.

China says the torch will then be transferred to Beijing, where it will start a journey passing through 22 cities on five continents before returning to the Chinese capital for the start of the Games in August.

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