2018 Winter Olympics torch relay to begin in November

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The torch relay for the 2018 Winter Olympics will begin in South Korea in November, and travel 2,018 kilometers around the country before arriving in Pyeongchang to mark the start of the Feb. 9-25 Games, organizers said on Monday.

The flame will be lit in Olympia, Greece, on October 24 before coming to Korea for the domestic relay.

7,500 torchbearers will then help take the torch through 17 cities beginning November 1, the 100-day countdown to the Games.

The identity of the final torchbearer has not been revealed yet, though it is widely believed that skater Kim Yuna will be granted the honor.

Kim, who almost single-handedly raised the profile of winter sports in South Korea, won gold at the Vancouver Games in 2010 and a controversial silver in Sochi four years later before retiring from the sport.

She was also a torchbearer at the 2006 and 2010 Games and said the experience would create a “lifelong memory” for those taking part in the relay for Pyeongchang.

“It was a great honour to carry the Olympic torch for Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010,” she said in the statement. “It motivated me to work even harder towards winning a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games.”

The South Korean government said it would give $1.75 million in additional funding to help local athletes prepare for the 2018 Games.

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