Flame in S Korea for 2018 Games
INCHEON, South Korea
The Olympic flame arrived in South Korea yesterday, 100 days ahead of the opening ceremony for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.
South Korean Olympic gold-winning figure skater Kim Yu-Na and the country’s sports minister carried the flame, in a white security lamp, down the steps at Incheon airport after a flight from Greece. It had been kindled from the sun’s rays in a ceremony at the ancient Temple of Hera in Olympia.
“Today is a very important and proud symbol of our work and passion in bringing one of the most exciting sporting events ever to our country,” said chief organiser Lee Hee-Beom.
“We want the Olympic torch relay to connect you to the Games, and ignite passion and excitement in every corner of Korea,” Lee said. The 2,018-kilometer torch relay was led off by 13-year-old figure skater You Young - although she is too young to compete in the Games - who jogged past hundreds of cameras wearing a “1” tag on her chest. A total of 7,500 torchbearers will carry the flame, symbolizing the 75 million people who live on both sides of the divided Korean peninsula.
The Games will be held from February 9 to 25, but have been marred by slow ticket sales and the looming menace of North Korea, just 80 kilometers away from Pyeongchang across the Demilitarized Zone.