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Torch relay for PyeongChang Paralympics to start in March 2018

2017/09/08 12:39

SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- The torch relay for the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics in South Korea will start in March 2018, the event's organizers said Friday.

The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) said the Paralympic flame will first be lit in five South Korean regions -- Anyang, Nonsan, Gochang, Chungdo, Cheongdo and Jeju Island -- on March 2 and the lighting of the fire will also take place in three other cities including Stoke Mandeville in Britain, the birthplace of the Paralympics, the next day.

Under the theme "Center of Shining," the organizers said the eight flames will be united on March 3 at Seoul Olympic Park's World Peace Gate, where the first Paralympic torch relay started in 1988.

The torch will then begin a five-day tour through cities and counties in Gangwon Province, where PyeongChang is located. The torch relay will cover 2,018 kilometers in distance, signifying the year in which the March 9-18 Paralympics will take place.

The POCOG said there will be events in cities celebrating the arrival of the Paralympic torch and it will use various high-tech equipment, including a robot, to help with the relay.

The POCOG said 800 torch bearers will participate in the relay and to emphasize companionship, they will carry the torch in groups of two. The organizers also said that additional 218 support runners will join the relay.

The POCOG and its partners will select torchbearers after receiving applications later this month. The selection process is expected to be completed by February.

The design of the Paralympic torch is inspired by the host city PyeongChang, located some 180 kilometers east of Seoul. The organizers said the torch is 700mm in length, which represents the altitude of PyeongChang, which sits 700m above sea level, and its color is white to embrace snow and ice.

The four Paralympic values -- courage, determination, inspiration and equality -- along with the PyeongChang 2018 slogan "Passion. Connected." are written in Braille on the torch, the organizers said.

The slogan for the torch relay is "Let Everyone Shine," the same slogan used for the PyeongChang Olympic torch relay.

Lee Hee-beom (third from R), the president of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, poses for a photo with Sean (second from), a South Korean singer appointed as honorary ambassador for the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, and volunteers holding Paralympic torch in an event in Seoul on Sept. 8, 2017. (Yonhap)  Lee Hee-beom (third from R), the president of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, poses for a photo with Sean (second from), a South Korean singer appointed as honorary ambassador for the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, and volunteers holding Paralympic torch in an event in Seoul on Sept. 8, 2017. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr

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