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Gangwon 2024 - 100 days to go

Oct 11, 2023·Inside FIS
(C) Gangwon 2024

With only 100 days to go until the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Gangwon 2024, the local Organising Committee (YOGOC), led by its two Co-Presidents, Lee Sang-hwa and Jin Jong-oh, invited athletes, K-pop stars and the public to celebrate this key milestone in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The event also marked the kick-off of the Gangwon 2024 Torch Tour, which will see the Youth Olympic flame embark on an 80-day odyssey across the host nation.

The celebration began with a dance by b-girl Kim Ye-ri, who was joined by her crew and local students from Gangwon province, who performed along to the Gangwon 2024 theme song, “We Go High”.

The event featured speeches from prominent figures, including Gangwon Province Governor Kim Jin-tael, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Gangwon 2024 Co-President Jin Jong-oh, himself a four-time Olympic champion in shooting, who addressed the enthusiastic crowds.

Bringing together sports and K-culture, and ending on a high note, 7,000 people joined in with the applause as they watched K-pop bands Itzy and Riize, Korean rapper Lee Young-ji, and punk group Crying Nut perform.

Solidarity across the nation

The Torch Tour, which will run until the Opening Ceremony of the Games, has been designed as a “Journey of Solidarity” – spreading the importance of sport and the Olympic values to young people, promoting participation in sport, and raising awareness of the Winter YOG. Olympians, Gangwon 2024 Ambassadors and Gangwon 2024 Youth Supporters will join the journey, building interest for what promises to be a fabulous celebration of sport, solidarity and young people.

Rather than a runner-to-runner road relay, as it is for the Olympic Games, the flame will be transported by organisers between each of its 23 stops, where a special cauldron-lighting ceremony will take place. At each location, the cauldron will be lit by up to five specially selected participants, including young people, athletes and teachers. Altogether, some 109 cauldron lighters will take part, a number selected for its resonance with the date of 9 October – Hangeul Day, a national holiday celebrating the proclamation of the Korean alphabet (Hangeul).

The Torch Tour begins by visiting five cities across the nation: starting in Seoul, and then moving on to Busan (14 October), Sejong (25 October), Jeju (28 October) and Gwangju (4 November). The flame then tours 18 cities and counties across Gangwon province, arriving in Gangneung on 28 December, before paying a series of special visits to nursing homes and other social welfare facilities as part of a “Lamp Relay” in the weeks immediately before the Games themselves.

From Athens to Gangwon

The Youth Olympic flame began its journey to Gangwon on 3 October with a beautiful handover ceremony at Athens' historic Panathenaic Stadium, the venue for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

The torch’s “Journey of Solidarity” will come to a spectacular conclusion on 19 January at the Gangwon 2024 Opening Ceremony – signalling the start of the biggest Winter YOG yet staged, with 1,900 young athletes competing in 81 events across seven sports and 15 disciplines, with a 50-50 split between male and female competitors.

*Release Courtesy - International Olympic Committee (IOC)

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