Olympic flame touches down in South Korea to ignite Pyeongchang 2017

2017/11/1 22:51:07

South Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jong-hwan, left, and 2010 Vancouver Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-Na hold the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics flame at Incheon International Airport


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By Philip Barker for Inside the Games, Nov 1, 2017


The sun shone as the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic flame arrived in the Land of the Morning Calm today.


It landed at Incheon, in the North West of the country, on an aircraft.


Emblazoned on its fuselage, set against a gold background, were the words "Let Everyone Shine", the philosophy of the entire Torch Relay.


Vancouver 2010 skating gold medallist Kim Yuna had accompanied the flame on its flight from Greece.


Kim carried it from the aircraft in a special safety lamp along with South Korea’s Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan.


Then she lit the first cauldron with Prime Minister Lee Nak Yeong.


"Our dream has become a reality," said Pyeonchang 2018 President Lee Hee-beom.


"Today is a very important and proud symbol of our work and passion in bringing one of most exciting winter sporting events ever to our country."


The organisers followed the example of 1988 when the first Torchbearers had been children of school age. 


Here, the first of 7,500 runners was 13 year-old You Young, a figure skater.


She received the torch from the Prime Minister before running the first 200 metres on Incheon Bridge. 


She won her first national title at 11 years of age and hopes one day to follow in the footsteps of Kim.


"It is my dream to represent my country at an Olympic Winter Games and I am working hard to make that dream a reality very soon," she said.


"The Games will really inspire me and will be an experience I will never forget."

Television star and comedian Yoo Jae-suk then continued the relay which will cover exactly 2018 kilometres before it reaches the Olympic city of Pyeongchang.


Olympic champion speed skater Lee Sang-hwa and International Olympic Committee Athletes Commission member Ryu Seung-min were also amongst 101 Torchbearers on the first day.



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