"We want the Paralympic games to ignite the passion of the nation and the torch relay can start the celebrations and set the scene for the nine days of world class competition that will follow.”
Another milestone in the countdown to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics has been reached with less than six months to go until the Games after the Organising Committee (POCOG) revealed the design of the Paralympic Torch. Details of the official Torch Relay have also been announced, featuring eight cities in eight days.
The torch is 700㎜ in length, representing the altitude of PyeongChang, which sits 700m above sea level, and the sleek curve of the design was inspired by Korea’s traditional white porcelain. The torch is white, representing the Paralympic Winter Games, a festival of snow and ice. It has also been designed to withstand South Korea’s freezing winter weather, with the flame able to keep burning even in strong wind and heavy snow. The four Paralympic values – courage, determination, inspiration and equality – and slogan for PyeongChang 2018, “Passion. Connected.” are also written in Braille on the torch in both Korean and English.
The flame of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games will be lit on March 2nd in five cities in South Korea - Jeju Island, Anyang, Nonsan, Gochang, and Chungdo – which is also the day of the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. These five cities provide convenient access to tourism facilities and services for people with disabilities and are certified as “Barrier-Free” cities by the Korean Disabled People's Institute (KoDDI).
Another flame will be lit at the birth place of the Paralympic Games which is Stoke Mandeville, UK as well as in Seoul, the South Korean capital. The eighth city will be announced by the end of this year.
The eight cities represent the ‘88 Seoul Paralympic Games, and the flames lit in these eight cities will come together at a special ceremony at the World Peace Gate in Seoul Olympic Park on March 3rd. Under the theme of “Center of Shining,” the ceremony will deliver the message of hope to people around the world.
Inspiring the nation
The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Torch Relay is the first official event that heralds the beginning of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. The eight-day relay will inspire the nation and kick off the festive mood before the Games begin. The Paralympic Torch Relay is a powerful way to share the message of the Games around the host country and show some of the iconic cultural highlights of the nation to the world.
President of the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games (POCOG) LEE Hee-beom said, “The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Torch Relay will be a very special event with the vision of a “barrier-free” relay where people of all ages and abilities can travel at ease at a number of relay stop-over cities. We want the Paralympic games to ignite the passion of the nation and the torch relay can start the celebrations and set the scene for the nine days of world class competition that will follow.”
The Paralympic spirit is about creating infinite possibilities and outcomes. The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Torch Relay embodies this spirit by incorporating the infinity symbol (∞) in the form of number ‘8’ throughout the journey.
The torchbearer selection process will begin in late September and be led by POCOG and the Paralympic partners. The screening process will run until December, and final confirmation of those selected will be made in February 2018.
A total of 800 torchbearers will carry the torch with 218 supporting torchbearers that will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
After the flame completes its cross-country journey it will take its position in the Olympic Plaza at the cauldron on March 9th and will continue to burn brightly until the Paralympic Winter Games comes to a close on March 18th.