The Olympic flame scaled the highest point on Earth as Chinese mountaineers carried it to Mount Qomolangma on Thursday - in what is the high point of the relay.
Chinese climbers hold the Olympic torch, the Olympic flag (L), the Chinese flag (C ) and the Beijing Olympics emblem at the peak of Mt. Qomolangma after the Olympic torch is lit at the peak of the mountain. The climbers carrying the Olympic torch stated to scale the peak at 3:00 am on Thursday morning and reached peak of 8848.43 meters around 9:17 am. [Xinhua] for more photos
Five mountaineers started relaying the torch atop the peak at around 9:12 am, a historic moment broadcast live by China Central Television.
"One World, One Dream," team captain Nyima Cering yelled as his torch was lit, repeating the slogan for the Beijing Olympics.
Norbu Zhamdul (L) lights the Beijing Olympic torch near the peak of Mt. Qomolangma at around 9:10 am on Thursday. The Chinese climbers carrying the Olympic torch stated to scale the peak at 3:00 am on Thursday morning and reached peak of 8848.43 meters around 9:17 am. [Xinhua]
The "Lucky Clouds" torch was lit at about 100 m from the summit amidst strong winds and minus-30 temperatures and then carried up by the five torchbearers - the unprecedented relay lasting about six minutes.
The climbers could be heard struggling for breath as they moved a few meters before passing on the flame to the next person.
The final torchbearer, a Tibetan woman named Cering Wangmo, stood silently on the peak with her torch while other team members unfurled Chinese and Olympic flags. They then came together, cheering "We made it" and "Beijing welcomes you" in Chinese, English and Tibetan.
The other three torchbearers were: Gyigyi, Wang Yongfeng, and Huang Chungui.