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PLANETSKI TO CARRY THE OLYMPIC TORCH! - Ben Clatworthy, Busan, South Korea
Thursday November 2, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Our reporter is running with the Olympic Torch in South Korea. He's feeling rather nervous. Wouldn't you be?

 

 

The fear of the Olympic torch going out.

The whole legend of the Games up in a puff of smoke.

My concern, however, isn't just because I'm a mad fan of skiing.

Or the result of seeing pictures of the flame rather perilously strapped to the seat of an aeroplane as it travelled from Greece to South Korea.

No, my fear is wholly justified.

I'll shorlty be running with the torch in South Korea.

Hot footing it a few hundred metres with the Olympics in my hands.

As things go, I'm pretty damn excited.

And nervous. Very nervous.

I've been to South Korea before, back in 2015 to report on the resorts that will be hosting the Alpine disciplines at the Games.

Back then, the country's enthusiasm for hosting the world's greatest sporting event was, well, distinctly lacking.

"You've got the Winter Olympics coming, that must be very exciting," I asked resort people enthusiastically.

The replies were unanimous. "It's a long way away and hosting it will be very expensive."

Others shrugged nonchalantly.

But that was almost three years ago now.

The Olympics are now on the horizon and the torch has started its epic journey around the country.

There are less than 100 days until it will arrive in Pyeongchang and light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony.

But there's still a long journey for the torch until then... and a lot of people are needed to carry it.

More than 7,500 in fact.

This Sunday my turn will come.

I'd love to report that I've been practising, but the closest thing I could find to the torch was an upturned wine bottle with a tealight in the punt.

It made an unsatisfactory training aid.

In trainingIn training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be running in Busan - South Korea's second city - and it will be fascinating to see how the country of 51 million people are preparing for the Games.

Samsung, the South Korean technology giant, is sponsoring the relay - and running a massive campaign to gee up interest in the Games.

They are arranging celebrations in the 17 cities the torch will travel to as it makes it 2,018km journey.

Ticket sales have so far been slow going, but that doesn't necessarily mean people aren't excited.

It will be interesting to find out.

And of course, I'll be relaying my tales of relay.

UPDATE:  I've done it!

Ben Clatworthy carrying the Olympic torchPlanetSKI with the torch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See my report of the experience:

The Olympic flame is litThe Olympic flame is lit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See here as we reported on the flame's arrival in South Korea on November 1st.

And here as the Torch was lit in Athens in a special ceremony

The 24-year old cross-country skier, Apostolos Angelis, was the first torchbearer.

The first torch bearerThe first torchbearer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this week we were with the GB Park & Pipe team and other snowsports athletes as they met the UK media marking 100 days to go to The Games starting.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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