Rescuers who excelled in quake relief work will be invited to become Olympic torch-bearers when the flame passes through Sichuan , but three cities badly damaged in the disaster will be dropped from the relay routes, Xinhua reported yesterday. The report said the decision to ask 'quake heroes' to carry the sacred flame was to 'closely link the Olympic torch relay with disaster-relief efforts'. The torch relay was postponed for three days from May 19 to 21 as a mark of respect for quake victims, but many people still questioned whether authorities should scrap the event altogether in view of the huge human losses inflicted by the magnitude 8 quake. Officials decided to go ahead with the relay, but drastically revised it to reflect the public mood. Earthquake-ravaged Sichuan will be the last stop before the torch heads to Beijing for the opening ceremony of the Games. A moment of silence was added to the relay procession and fireworks were cancelled. Asking 'quake heroes' to become torch-bearers was among the most popular suggestions made by the public. But another popular proposal - to take the flame through quake-affected areas - was rejected. Xinhua said the torch would pass through the cities of Guang'an , Leshan , Zigong and Yibin on August 3 and 4, before heading to provincial capital Chengdu on August 5. Three cities, Mianyang , Guanghan and Dujiangyan - the areas hardest hit in the May 12 earthquake - were deemed not suitable for the relay run and were dropped from the routes.