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Olympic flame for PyeongChang 2018 arrives in S. Korea

2017/11/01 09:53

By Yoo Jee-ho

INCHEON, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- The Olympic flame for the first Winter Games to take place in South Korea arrived in the host country Wednesday, as the countdown to the quadrennial competition reached 100 days.

A 16-member South Korean delegation arrived at Incheon International Airport with the flame after a handover ceremony in Athens, bringing an Olympic torch home for the first time since the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988.

The flame for PyeongChang was lit at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, on Oct. 24 and went on an eight-day relay through Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics before making its way to South Korean hands.

The delegation included Lee Hee-beom, head of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games (POCOG), and Kim Yu-na, 2010 Olympic figure skating champion and an honorary ambassador for PyeongChang 2018.

The flame traveled in a security lamp over the 8,500-kilometer route from Athens to Incheon.

The torch relay that will wrap up at the opening ceremony on Feb. 9, 2018, will commence later Wednesday. You Young, who became the youngest national ladies' singles figure skating champion at age 11 in January 2016, will be the first torchbearer in South Korea after the flame's arrival.

The route will cover 2,018 kilometers -- the same number as the year in which the Olympics is taking place -- by plane, ship, train, sailboat, robot, cable car, bike, zip line and foot. The torch will travel through nine provinces, eight major cities, and 151 counties and districts.

The relay will take place under the slogan, "Let Everyone Shine," a nod to the Olympic flame and PyeongChang's hopes of bringing the world together.

PyeongChang said it will select 7,500 runners, along with 2,018 support runners.

Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG), holds the Olympic torch at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Oct. 31, 2017. (Yonhap) Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG), holds the Olympic torch at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Oct. 31, 2017. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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