The Greek leg of the Olympic Torch Relay PyeongChang 2018 came to an end today as the Olympic Flame was officially handed over to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games delegation at the at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens – site of the inaugural Olympic Games of the modern era.
The handover comes at the end of an eight-day relay across the birthplace of the Olympics, which began in Ancient Olympia on 24 October with Greek skiing champion Apostolos Angelis being the first to carry the Torch. Greek skier Ioannis Proios was given the honour of being the last torchbearer in Greece today before Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos made the official presentation to KIM Ki-hoon, the first Korean to win a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games.
To create a touch of Korea in Greece, and as is traditional at the handover ceremony, a performance which combined traditional Korean music (gukak) and modern breakdancing captured the audience at the Panathenaic Stadium.
LEE Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee said, “The Olympic Torch Relay will be a very special journey that will ‘Light the Fire Within’ for the dreams and passion towards winter sports in Asia and beyond.
“PyeongChang 2018 will inspire younger generations and deliver the Olympic values of respect, friendship and peace to the world".
The flame was placed in a security lamp before being taken to the airport where it would board a Korean Air flight with the delegation and begin its 12-hour journey to Incheon, Korea.
When the flame lands at Incheon International Airport tomorrow morning (10 am KST), it will mark 30 years since the Olympic Flame was last seen in Korea for the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games. Three decades on and the flame will burn just as brightly as it makes its way across the Republic of Korea to connect the nation around the passion and excitement of the Games. Throughout its 101-day journey to the Olympic Plaza in PyeongChang, presenting partners Coca-Cola, Samsung and KT will be helping to entertain and engage the public as they lead the Torch cavalcade through the towns, cities, mountains and countryside.
The flame will reside in a specially created cauldron that can be seen from both inside and outside the stadium from February 9-25. All ticket holders will have access to the Olympic Plaza to see the flame on the day of their session.