Coinciding with the 100-days-to-go mark on 1 November 2017, and following the lighting of the Olympic flame in Olympia, Greece, one week earlier, the Olympic flame arrived in the city of Incheon. The Olympic flame then spent 101 days making its way around 17 cities and provinces across the Republic of Korea, shining a spotlight on the nation’s culture, technological prowess and landmarks, and enabling people across the host country to share in the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay.
The general route of the Relay was planned as follows:
From 24 October 2017 in Greece, starting with the traditional flame-lighting ceremony in Olympia.
1 November 2017 the Olympic flame arrived in the city of Incheon.
9 February: lighting of the cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Games
A total of 7,500 torchbearers took part in the Olympic Torch Relay. To accompany the relay, a fun programme of events and activities was staged each evening in the cities along the route. The identity of the final torchbearer, who had the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron, was only revealed on 9 February, the day of the Opening Ceremony for PyeongChang 2018.
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 was designed so that the flame would continue to burn in all weather conditions, and that it could withstand the strong winds and heavy snowfall that can be expected in the Republic of Korea.
When wind blew towards the flame, an air-tunnel was created which provided more oxygen to keep the flame lit throughout the Torch Relay. There was also a pentagon-shaped hole in the bottom of the torch so that any water could drain to the bottom of the torch, ensuring that the flame continued to burn in rainy conditions.
The torch was exactly 700 mm in length, representing the altitude of PyeongChang, which is 700 metres above sea level. The white and gold tones of the torch mirrored the main colours of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games Torch Relay, while the five-pronged shape of the flame was based on the Korean symbol for PyeongChang, which was also engraved around the bottom half and top of the torch.
The five-angled shape in the middle of the uniform cap was 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.