Songs and dance as Olympic Torch Relay speeds on
Over the last two weeks, the Olympic Torch Relay has made its way through some of the Republic of Korea’s western districts, revealing yet more of the past, present and future of this fascinating country along the way. We bring you right up to date on the latest stages of the Olympic flame’s epic journey to PyeongChang.
The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay was in South Chungcheong Province on 6 December. Colourful celebrations were held to mark its arrival at the hexagonal Hongjuseong Yeohajeong roof pavilion, situated inside Hongjuseong Fortress, where it was greeted by a percussion band, drummers and local singer Yoojun.
The following day’s final port of call was the Seosan Cultural Centre, where the Ttenshae Art Company gave a performance, as did a group of local singers.
The musical theme continued in Gongju on 8 December, when the city’s ancient Gongsanseong Fortress welcomed the Olympic flame with a pop opera performance, a flag-waving display and dance.
From Gongju it was on to a three-day tour of Daejeon, where retired major league baseball pitcher Park Chan-ho figured among the torchbearers on 9 December, handing the Olympic flame on to Hanwha Eagles batter Kim Tae-gyun at an event held in the city.
On day two in Daejeon, the Olympic flame made its way past the city’s Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
Speaking about the visit, POCOG President LEE Hee-beom said: “Today’s special Olympic Torch Relay celebrating information and communications technology (ICT) was a fantastic display of innovation and creativity. ICT is a very important part of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, as we aim to be the most connected and technologically advanced Games ever. Today was a chance for us to show the world some exciting technologies that will be showcased during the Games.”
The next stop after Daejeon was the self-governing administrative city of Sejong, home to the world’s largest rooftop garden, which sits atop a bridge connecting buildings in the city’s government complex and covers an area as big as 11 football pitches. Representatives of each of the government’s 19 ministries carried the Olympic flame through the garden on a 3.4km route linking all the buildings in the complex.
The day ended at the city-centre Sejong Lake Park, where a multimedia firework display followed a number of musical performances.
The Olympic Torch Relay stayed in Sejong on 14 December, with the Sejong City Lawn Plaza hosting a Yongam Gangdarigi tug-of-war event and traditional music festival as the city bade farewell to the Olympic flame.
It was destination Asan the following day, with the city’s choir singing “Let Everyone Shine”, the official PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay theme song, while a musical entitled “Ballerina Who Loved a B-boy” was also laid on as part of special celebrations held at the city’s Onyangoncheon Station.
Rescue and firefighting specialist Shin Dong-heum, who worked at both the Olympic Summer Games Seoul 1988 and the 2002 Football World Cup, helped carry the Olympic flame all the way to Cheonan City Hall on 17 December. A popular sightseeing spot, City Hall provided the venue for yet more song and dance, including some Olympic hip-hop.
Our latest update ends with the Olympic flame hitching a ride on the Republic of Korea’s high-speed KTX train at Osong Station in the city of Cheongju, where Han Byeong-geun, the stationmaster at Seoul Station, had the honour of carrying it on the fastest leg ever completed by an Olympic Torch Relay on land.