Stage set for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay
The countdown to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will reach an important milestone on 1 November 2017, when the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay gets under way in the Republic of Korea.
Over the following 101 days, the Olympic torch will be conveyed along a route measuring exactly 2,018 kilometres and winding its way through nine provinces and eight major cities across the Republic of Korea, with Incheon Metropolitan City providing the starting point.
The Olympic Torch Relay will reach its conclusion at the Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on 9 February next year.
The Olympic flame will be transported across the country by no fewer than 7,500 torchbearers. The torchbearers will each carry the flame for 200 metres.
In selecting them, the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 (POCOG) chose what it terms as "Achievers" ("those who have opened new horizons and continue to go above and beyond") and "Dreamers" ("those who pursue their dreams to open new horizons").
Backing up the torchbearers will be 2,018 support runners, who will guard the torch and act as messengers, helping the world share in the uplifting spectacle that is the Olympic Torch Relay.
Many forms of transport will be used to carry the Olympic flame on its epic journey around the country, including a sailboat, cable car, steam train and yacht. The torch will also take to the air on a zip line over Bamseom Island, the shape of which resembles that of the Korean peninsula itself.
The torch, which measures 700mm in length – reflecting PyeongChang's altitude of 700 metres above sea level – has been designed to withstand the wind, rain and snow it may well encounter en route to the Olympic Stadium.
It comprises an air tunnel that will provide more oxygen and keep the flame alight should the wind blow, and it also features a pentagon-shaped hole at its base to drain off any water should the rain fall.
Made from waterproof fabric, the white and gold torchbearer uniform is also specially designed to keep the wearer dry and warm in adverse weather conditions.
As it makes its way around the host country, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay will provide a truly inclusive spectacle, in keeping with its motto: "Let Everyone Shine".
In casting a spotlight on the nation's landmarks, technological prowess and culture, and making them an integral part of the PyeongChang 2018 legacy, the Olympic Torch Relay will bring together people from different cultures, races and religions.
Olympic-themed events and activities will also be staged each evening in the cities along the route, allowing the people of the Republic of Korea to share in the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay.
The identity of the final torchbearer, who will have the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron, will be revealed on the day of the Opening Ceremony of PyeongChang 2018.