Olympic flame atop Mt Everest

2008-05-07 19:51:01 Xinhua English

Chinese climbers display an Olympic torch, an Olympic flame lantern, a flag of International Olympic Committee, a Chinese National flag and a flag of the 29th Olympic Games at the top of the 8844.43-meter summit of Mt. Qomolangma in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on May 8, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Chinese climbers display flags at the top of the 8844.43-meter summit of Mt. Qomolangma in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on May 8, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)

Norbu Zhamdu (L) lights the Olympic torch of the first torchbearer Gegyi with a kindling at the top of the 8844.43-meter summit of Mt. Qomolangma in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on May 8, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Graphics shows the route on the north slope along which the Beijing Olympic flame was carried to Mt. Qomolangma. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

MT. QOMOLANGMA BASE CAMP, Tibet, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The Olympic flame for the Beijing Games was carried to the top of Mount Qomolangma by Chinese climbers at 9:18 a.m. Beijing Time on Thursday.

Having promised to take the Olympic flame to the world's highest peak in Beijing's bidding campaign, the Beijing organizers selected a team of 36 torch climbers, 19 of which were picked for the final assault starting from the 8,300-meter-high camp at 3 a.m. Beijing Time.

The flame's first trip atop the mountain was live televised. The Beijing Olympic torch relay is the longest and most ambitious ever planned, traveling 137,000 kilometers across five continents in 130 days. The torch returned to the Chinese mainland at the beginning of May and is to tour boomtown Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong province late in the day.

The Olympic flame was lit in Greece on March 24 and before kicking off its global tour the flame has been split, with a special flame brought to Mt. Qomolangma for the high-profile summit ceremony.