PyeongChang Olympic Torch and torchbearer uniforms unveiled
On 9 February, PyeongChang reached another milestone, with the unveiling of the Olympic Torch and torchbearer uniform at the One-Year-to-Go Countdown Ceremony.
The Olympic Torch was revealed at the Gangneung Ice Hockey Centre on Thursday by Yuna Kim, local icon and Olympic figure skating gold medallist, and Magnus Kim, who won the Republic of Korea’s first ever gold medal in the history of cross-country skiing at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, and five young local students, all of whom were adorned in the PyeongChang torchbearer uniform.
The torch is exactly 700mm in length, representing the altitude of PyeonChang, which is 700 meters above sea level. The white and gold tones of the torch mirror the main colours of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games Torch Relay, while the five-pronged shape of the flame is based on the Korean symbol for PyeongChang, which is also engraved around the bottom half and top of the torch.
The five-angled shape in the middle of the uniform cap is meant to represent the spirit of sports, which connects races, nations, religions, genders, cultures, as well as the five continents, united by a common passion for the Games.
The Olympic Torch Relay is unique in its ability to unite people and to transmit the Olympic values. Gunilla Lindberg IOC Coordination Commission Chair - Gunilla Lindberg IOC Coordination Commission Chair
IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg commented: “I would like to congratulate POCOG on their beautiful Olympic Torch and torchbearer uniforms, which will play a major role in bringing the excitement of the Games to the whole of the Republic of Korea next winter. The Olympic Torch Relay is unique in its ability to unite people and to transmit the Olympic values. I am confident that a new generation of Koreans will embrace the Olympic Torch Relay, as happened ahead of the Olympic Games Seoul 1988, and that the world will appreciate this important symbol of Korean design.”
A torch for all conditions
The torch was designed by Korean designer Young Se Kim,who set out to create something that would inspire happiness in all those who behold it. It has been designed so that the flame will continue to burn in all weather conditions, and that will withstand the strong winds and heavy snowfall that can be expected in the Republic of Korea. When wind blows towards the flame, an air-tunnel is created which provides more oxygen which in turn will keep the flame lit throughout the Torch Relay. There is also a pentagon shaped hole in the bottom of the torch so that any water can drain to the bottom of the torch, ensuring that the flame continues to burn in rainy conditions.
The uniform that will be worn by the 7,500 torchbearers was also unveiled at the One-Year-to-Go Countdown Ceremony. The design combines the white of the Olympic Torch and blue, yellow, black, green, and red from the Olympic Rings.
The uniform is designed to be comfortable and practical for the torchbearers whatever the weather conditions. The back and sleeves are made of water-repellent fabric while the front and shoulders are completely waterproof. Hybrid material was used for the jacket fillings to keep the torchbearers warm in the cold.
Excitement and inspiration
“Unveiling the Olympic Torch at the PyeongChang One-Year-to-Go Ceremony represents the start of a countdown to a remarkable celebration,” said POCOG President Lee Hee-beom. “With its beautiful design and technical features, the PyeongChang Olympic Torch will become a symbol of excitement and inspiration of the Olympic Games. The Olympic Torch Relay will bring the spotlight to PyeongChang, sparking passion to connect the world together.”
The PyeongChang Olympic Torch Relay has three Presenting Partners: Worldwide TOP Partner Coca-Cola, which continues its long-standing support for Olympic torch relays, Worldwide TOP Partner Samsung and local Partner KT. For further information, please visit the PyeongChang website.