The flame for the 7th Military World Games was lit on Thursday in Nanchang, the capital city of east China's Jiangxi Province which is reputed as the cradle of the People's Liberation Army.
The Nanchang Uprising, which was led by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and took place on Aug. 1, 1927, is being remembered as the founding day of the PLA.
The flame was ignited during a ritual ceremony at the Nanchang August 1st Memorial.
On 7 a.m., Fang Minglu, the great-granddaughter of revolutionary martyr, Fang Zhimin, the revolutionary and military strategist born in Jiangxi, lit the flame out of a concave mirror using the sun's rays.
"It's my honor to light the flame," said Fang.
The torch relay was commenced at the Bayi Square. Yang Jian, the director of Executive Committee of 7th Military World Games, lit the cauldron. Dorah Mamby Koita, the secretary general of the International Military Sports Council (CISM), lit the first torch and handed it over to Liu Qi, the secretary of Jiangxi Provincial Party Committee. Liu then handed the torch to Peng Bo, the first torchbearer, while 2,019 peace doves soared into the air.
The torch is 700 mm long and weighs 780 grams. It represents peace, development and friendship. There were 20 torchbearers paraded the fire in Nanchang, many of them having served in the army and winning military honors, including Qiu Eguo, a police officer; Xiao Qun, a medical worker awarded the United Nations Peacekeeping Medal; Hu Minhua, awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal. The last torchbearer was Wang Zhizhi, head coach of CBA team the Bayi Rockets.
"As a native of Nanchang, I hope Nanchang will get better and better, and as a veteran, I hope my comrades will make great achievements in the Games," said Peng, who participated in the Military World Games in 1999.
A total of 2,019 torch bearers will carry the torch in 27 cities and 16 military spots across the country from Aug. 1 to Oct. 18. The 7th Military World Games will be held in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, between Oct. 18 and 27.
About 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries are expected to participate in the Games. Chinese athletes will compete in all of the 26 sports except golf.