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Winter Olympics: Flame arrives in S.Korea for 2018 Games

Lee Hee-beom, president and CEO of the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos during the handover ceremony. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

The Olympic flame arrived in South Korea on Wednesday, 100 days ahead of the opening ceremony for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. 

South Korean Olympic gold-winning figure skater Kim Yu-Na and the country’s sports minister carried the flame, in a white security lamp, down the steps at Incheon airport after a flight from Greece.

“Today is a very important and proud symbol of our work and passion in bringing one of the most exciting sporting events ever to our country,” said chief organiser Lee Hee-Beom. 

“We want the Olympic torch relay to connect you to the Games, and ignite passion and excitement in every corner of Korea,” Lee added. 

The games will be held from February 9 to 25, but have been marred by slow ticket sales and the looming menace of nuclear-armed North Korea, just 80 kilometres away from Pyeongchang across the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula.

Organisers said that 7,500 torchbearers have been selected to carry the flame for its 2,018-kilometre relay in the country.

It will be led off by 13-year-old figure skater You Young — although she is too young to compete in the Games.

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