Olympic Torch Delivers Message of Peace to Northern-most Cities
PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay into its final 15 days
PyeongChang, January 26 – For the past seven days, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay has been visiting the northernmost cities of the Republic of Korea. To deliver a message of peace, the relay took on a special theme of the bicycle.
Visiting the towns/cities of Paju and Yeoncheon in Gyeonggi, and Cheorwon, Hwacheon, Yanggu, Inje and Goseong in Gangwon, it travelled through towns and cities along the demarcation line with 750 torchbearers and supporting cyclists taking part.
The bicycle was used to symbolise peace between the two nations as the two wheels rely on each other to move forward. The flame brings with it a message of hope and peace for the future. The bicycles were all fitted with special torch holders so they could ride easily with the flame.
The bikes carried the flame over 122km starting at Paju’s inter-Korean transit office and travelling to Goseong Unification Observatory, the final destination for this section of the relay. At the demilitarised zone (DMZ), soldiers on the front line were given the chance to be torchbearers, supported by the cyclists, and share in the special moment for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Along the route of peace, the flame travelled to an ice rink on the frozen Imjin River in Yulgok Wetland Park, where people commemorated a Canadian soldier who came to Korea with the UN Peacekeeping Force during the Korean war and wrote in his will that he hoped to survive the war and go back to play ice hockey on the river. Korean and Canadian war veterans were selected as torch bearers for this special day of remembrance, and a special ice hockey match took place to recreate the Imjin Classic that was played during the war. It was organised by the Canadian Embassy and KIM Jun-tae, acting Mayor of Paju City took part with the war veterans from both countries.
Members of the Korean Cycling Federation and other local cycling organisations were also chosen to be part of the relay in Paju.
The Peace section of the relay is the final theme to be represented in the 101-day journey of the Olympic flame. Previous themes celebrated were culture (Seoul), environment (Suncheon, South Jeolla), economy (Incheon) and ICT (Daejeon).
LEE Hee-beom, President of the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee said, “The message of peace that has been carried with the torch in these seven northernmost cities has touched the hearts of many.
“It has been a very special few days as the light has shone on our war veterans and present-day soldiers and all the hard work and dedication they have shown for our country, to uphold the message of peace. We hope that the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will spread that message of peace around the world in the coming weeks.”
The Torch will now travel to Sokcho, Chuncheon, Wonju and Gangneung before arriving at the Olympic Plaza on February 9th when the Olympic cauldron will be lit.
With just 14 days until the start of the XXII edition of the Olympic Winter Games, buy your tickets, book your travel and accommodation and come to PyeongChang to experience world class sporting action and a Korean Cultural Olympiad that you will never forget!
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POCOG Press Office