Thu, August 28, 2008
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Beijing Paralympic flame lit in Temple of Heaven

2008-08-28 03:31:47 GMT2008-08-28 11:31:47 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

A performer beats the drum at the Beijing Paralympic flame lighting ceremony in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on Thursday. (Xinhua Photo)

Audience attend the Beijing Paralympic flame lighting ceremony in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on Thursday. (Xinhua Photo)

Deaf-mute flame collector Jiang Xintian lit the flame out of a concave, burnished mirror In front of the symbolic Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven, Beijing, Aug 28, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese premier Wen Jiabao lit the Beijing Paralympic flame was at the ancient Temple of Heaven in Beijing on Thursday, kicking off the torch relay across China before the 13th Paralympics open on Sept. 6.

In front of the symbolic Hall of Annual Prayer, deaf-mute flamecollector Jiang Xintian lit the flame out of a concave, burnished mirror. The flame was then handed to a wheelchair-ridden girl, before it lit a torch held by Liu Qi, president of the organizing committee of the just concluded Beijing Olympic Games.

Liu passed the torch to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who lit a cauldron and announced the beginning of the 10-day torch relay.

The sacred flame will be sent to Xi'an in Northwest China and Shenzhen in the south, where the relay will be launched on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Speakers at the lighting ceremony included Deng Pufang, chairman of the China Disabled Persons Federation, and President of the International Paralympic Committee Philip Craven.

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