China After a much-protested journey, the Olympic torch reached Sanya, China, a southern seaside resort, Saturday night, beginning what organizers and Chinese citizens promised would be a trouble-free national tour.
The protests and last-minute route changes that haunted the torch along its international relay route were expected to be over. Instead, locals talked excitedly about welcoming the Olympic flame.
"Even if no police were here, we would protect the torch with our bodies!" said an 18-year-old vendor who gave his family name as Zhao. He was selling Chinese flags near the stage where the torch was to be lit this morning.
Actor Jackie Chan and basketball star Yi Jianlian were to be among the 208 people carrying the torch today along palm tree-lined roads looking out over the South China Sea.