HANGZHOU, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The combination of virtual and physical worlds makes the Hangzhou Asian Games torch relay the largest ever.
Du Zuofeng, deputy commander of Hangzhou Asian Games torch relay command center, said that torchbearers are selected by the Olympic Council of Asia, Chinese Olympic Committee, Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee and cities in Zhejiang Province.
Over 2,000 torchbearers stood out after strict recommendation and publication, and among them, 30 torchbearers were selected through the online "Race to be the Asian Games Torchbearer" theme event.
The selection of torchbearers highlights eminent candidates' dedication to their positions. Meanwhile, young generations also have the chance to pass on their dreams.
Zou Tao, from No. 3 Middle School in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, has played football for six years and cherishes a dream of representing China in the future, just like her idol Wang Shuang.
"I am proud to be a torchbearer for the Asian Games, just as Wang Shuang. I hope more girls will love football and enjoy the beauty of sports," Zou said.
The torch relay has passed through eight cities so far, with many touching stories being unveiled. Meanwhile, nearly 100 million people have joined on a digital torch relay platform released simultaneously when the torch was lit on June 15th.
So far, the digital torch has been passed through central Asia, south Asia, west Asia, east Asia and southeast Asia, beginning its third stage on August 15 in China, covering former Asiad host cities Beijing and Guangzhou before arriving in Hangzhou, the host city of this year's Games.
When the flame of the Hangzhou Asian Games is ignited on September 23, digital torchbearers all over the world will jointly "light" the Asian Games' flame in the virtual world.
"Anyone can be a torchbearer in this digital era, and the Hangzhou Asian Games are expected to see the largest-scale torch relay and the most widespread coverage of participants in the history of the event," said Du. ■