By Joo Kyung-don
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's winter sports pioneers and prospects took part in the opening ceremony for the 23rd Winter Olympics, bringing the Olympic flag into the main stadium on Friday.
Four local legends and four future stars in winter sports entered the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, with the Olympic flag -- which features five equal interlocking rings of blue, yellow, black and red on a white field -- during the opening ceremony.
The four greats were: former cross-country skier Kang Chan-yong, former figure skater Shin Hye-sook and former speed skaters Kim Yoon-man and Kim Kui-jin.
Among the four, Kim Yoon-man is the first South Korean to win a Winter Olympic medal. He achieved the feat at the 1992 Albertville Olympics with a silver in the men's 1,000-meter speed skating.
Shin was a former coach of Kim Yu-na, South Korea's only Olympic medalist in figure skating. Kim Kui-jin is a two-time Olympian in the 1960s, while Kang is a former cross-country skiing national team coach considered the pioneer of Nordic skiing in South Korea.
The four prospects were: figure skater You Young, ice hockey player Lee Jun-seo, freestyle skier Jang Yu-jin, and skeleton slider Jung Seung-gi.
You, 13, recently won the national figure skating championship, but is not competing at the Winter Olympics here due to the age limit.
Jang is the only one among four who will compete at the PyeongChang Olympics. The 16-year-old will perform in the women's half-pipe.
Lee, born in 2003, is a promising ice hockey forward, while Jung, 18, is a skeleton slider who recently topped the North American Cup.
The eight former and active athletes handed the Olympic flag to six South Korean soldiers who were dressed with traditional costumes. During the opening ceremony, the Olympic flag was raised at the main venue of the host city before athletes took the Olympic Oath.
The Olympic flag is carried by former and active South Korean winter sports athletes during the opening ceremony for the 23rd Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap)