By Yoo Jee-ho
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean figure skating icon Kim Yu-na on Friday lit the cauldron that will burn throughout the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
To cap off the opening ceremony at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, Kim, the 2010 Olympic champion in the ladies' singles figure skating, carried the Olympic flame up to the cauldron and lit it to the thunderous roars from the crowd.
Choosing Kim for the honor was a no-brainer. The two-time world champion was a trailblazing figure during her illustrious career and established numerous firsts for South Korea. She's the first South Korean to win an Olympic figure skating gold -- she also added a silver in 2014 -- and the first to win a figure skating world championship. Kim actually won two world titles, while also grabbing two silvers and two bronzes. She captured three International Skating Union Grand Prix Final titles, something no other South Korean has come even close to matching.
Kim also played an instrumental role in helping PyeongChang win the bid to host the Olympics. She was an active ambassador for PyeongChang's Winter Games bidding committee and gave a moving speech during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in July 2011 in Durban, South Africa, where PyeongChang beat Germany's Munich and France's Annecy in a vote by IOC members.