BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Olympic Torch, carrying the host's sincere wishes and blessings from peoples from around the world, has arrived back in Beijing, host city of the 29th Olympic Games, which is now the focus of world attention, as the world's greatest sporting festival will open soon.
The grand gathering will draw on more than 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries and regions and attract nearly 1 million spectators and a global television audience running into billions.
There is no sporting event in the world that can rival the Olympics in terms of bringing together people of different backgrounds and transcending their differences in political systems, ideologies, races, complexion and cultures. Athletes coming from around the world compete under the same blue sky, under the Olympic Flag and under the Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius, or "Faster, Higher, Stronger."
Indeed the gathering is an arena for athletes to realize their glory and dreams and a festival for all mankind to share friendship and enjoy peace.
The slogan of the Beijing Olympics "One World, One Dream" symbolizes the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace, reflects the world trend and delivers mankind's perennial expectations: progress and peace, coexistence in harmony and harmonious development.
EXCHANGES FOSTER PEACE
In a world beset by all kinds of contradictions stemming from political, economic, cultural and religious differences, the problems have always tended to become more acute and evolve into disputes and even conflicts and wars if there is lack of exchanges and mutual understanding and trust.
As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon put it, the Beijing Games should be a venue for people to demonstrate their athletic skills through fair competition. "But at the same time this should be the venue where we can promote the harmony and friendship and mutual understanding, transcending all ideologies and ethnicities and national geographical boundaries," he added.
Ban's remarks reflect the essence of the Olympic movement. Exchanges can promote mutual understanding, while mutual understanding fosters mutual trust. Friendship is built upon mutual trust and is a prerequisite for achieving peace.
When athletes from Israel and Palestine compete at the same arena, U.S. and Iranian teams share experiences and fans from both sides of the Korean Peninsula cheer for their own teams and opponents alike, the seed of friendship is sown and hopes for a more secure world are rekindled.
HARMONY PROMOTES PROGRESS
Harmony is one of the fundamental goals the Olympic movement has been pursuing since its very beginning. A century ago, Pierre de Coubertin, known as the father of the modern Olympics, wrote: "The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity."
Only by harmony among people can an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation be created for fair competition, and only by harmony between different countries can the warring parties bury the hatchet and put their war behind them in the interest of getting together at the grand sporting festival.
Growing harmony among people, between countries and between man and nature is the goal of Olympism, a sincere wish of the host and aspirations shared by peoples from around the world.
OLYMPIC IDEALS SHOULD TRANSCEND ATHLETICS
The significance of the Olympic ideals goes far beyond the sheer numbers of new sporting records and gold medals.
The Olympic motto "Higher, Faster and Stronger" embodies mankind's desire to challenge the limits of human capacity. The slogan of Mass Participation mirrors people's aspiration for equality. Calls for a Clean Olympics give expression to mankind's dream for justice and fairness.
The concept of a Green Olympics advocates the harmonious coexistence between man and nature. And UN calls for an Olympic Truce represent the international community's profound hope for peace.
The whole world is eagerly awaiting, and the curtain will soon rise on the 2008 Olympic Games. Let the world share the exultation and joy brought about by competitions in the next 20 days. And the ideals and dreams behind athletics will always become a spiritual legacy which provides a constant driving force for the progress of mankind