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(2nd LD) PyeongChang unveils Winter Olympic torch inspired by white porcelain

All Headlines 15:14 February 09, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS photo)
By Yoo Jee-ho

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- The organizers of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Thursday unveiled the torch inspired by traditional Korean white porcelain.

The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) unveiled the torch at a press conference before celebrations of the one-year countdown to the competition. PyeongChang 2018, set for Feb. 9-25, will be the first Winter Games to take place in South Korea.

The POCOG said the torch was designed to keep the flame alive in the high altitudes of PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, and in blustery winter conditions in the region. When wind blows toward the flame, an air tunnel is created to provide more oxygen, which will help keep the flame lit throughout the torch relay. A pentagon-shaped hole in the bottom of the torch will help drain water out the bottom of the torch in rainy conditions.

The color white drew its cues from white porcelain, and also from snow and ice, two major symbols of the Winter Olympics.

The torch is 700 millimeters tall, representing the altitude of PyeongChang, which sits 700 meters above sea level.

According to the POCOG, the five-angled shape in the middle of the torch's cap represents "the spirit of sports, which connects races, nations, religions, genders, cultures and the five continents around the world, uniting them with passion."

The torch was designed by South Korean artist Kim Young-se, and was manufactured by Hanwha Corp., which also made the torch for the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.

This photo provided by the organizing committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Feb. 9, 2017, shows the Olympic torch. (Yonhap)

Along with the torch, the uniforms for the torch bearers were also shown to the public. They are white, as per International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations, with the Olympic Rings and the patterns from the torch emblazoned on them.

The sleeves and the back of the shirt were made with water-repellent materials, while the shoulders and the front are waterproof. Hybrid material has been used for the jacket filling to keep the torchbearers warm in cold conditions.

The shirts were designed by Youngone Outdoor, an official partner of the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Lee Hee-beom (second from R), head of the organizing committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics holds up the Olympic torch unveiled on Feb. 9, 2017, at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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