Carrying Olympic torch for China
Updated: 2016-07-04 11:16
By Ji Ye in Rio de Janeiro For China Daily(China Daily USA)
Pianist Lang Lang leads six Chinese participants in the Rio Olympics torch relay on June 30 in the famous waterfall city of Iguacu in Brazil. Li Ming / For China Daily
With the start of the first Olympic Games in South America a little more than a month away, Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang led six Chinese in the Rio Olympics torch relay on June 30 in the famous Iguacu waterfall city.
The torch relay continued its journey across the Brazilian Parana state. The distance covered 170 km and some 140 torchbearers. Foz do Iguau was the last town on the Olympic flame's route on June 30.
The six torchbearers, including Lang Lang and actress Jiang Yiyan, roused the passions of the locals. As the 75th torchbearer, Lang Lang was welcomed by warm Brazilians and Chinese. Numerous people accompanied him during his 200-meter relay journey.
"It's my third time to be a Summer Olympics torchbearer," he said. "To get in touch with the Olympics and its spirit one more time, I feel more powerful, and it will lead me to go forward."
Lang Lang is a celebrity in classical music circles. He was the first Chinese pianist to join the Vienna and Berlin philharmonic orchestras, and also was a UNICEF ambassador. He has created educational projects in Europe and Asia, been an advertising icon for famous brands, and represented China on the Western cultural scene.
Earlier on June 30, Lang Lang also gave a piano show just in front of the Iguacu waterfall, one of the most famous natural landmarks in Brazil. His show attracted many spectators.
The torch relay started on May 3 and is scheduled to arrive in Rio de Janeiro on Aug 5 after passing through 320 cities.
In the indigenous language of the region, Iguacu means "great water". It is a laconic label for what must be the most awe-inspiring waterfalls in the world: A series of about 275 cascades, up to 82 metres high, crash over a plateau that stretches 2.7km wide. In the rainy season, the volume of water here can dwarf that of waterfalls such as Niagara.
The surrounding subtropical rainforest is home to fauna such as tapirs, giant anteaters, howler monkeys, ocelots and caymans, as well as some 400 species of birds, such as the elusive harpy eagle.
"With the Olympic Games in Rio, the world will look at our continent with the attention it deserves," Argentine civil servant Flix Massa said. "People will discover cultural riches and coral beauties. Just look at how amazing this place is."