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Athletes, Actors and Robots Among Torchbearers
Athletes, Actors and Robots Among Torchbearers

Athletes, Actors and Robots Among Torchbearers

The torch will burn for 101 days in 88 Korean cities. Close to 8,005 athletes were planned to carry the torch through the 2018 km around South Korea which is hosting the winter games for the first time in the history of the country and third time in Asia

Athletes, Actors and Robots Among Torchbearers

Three Iranians are among the torchbearers of 2018 Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9-25, 2018.

Having been lit in Olympia, Greece, on October 24, the torch traveled to Athens on October 31. It began its Korean journey on November 1, from Incheon and will end on February 9, in Pyeongchang’s Olympic Stadium, the main venue of the 2018 Olympics.

The torch will burn for 101 days in 88 Korean cities. Close to 8,005 athletes were planned to carry the torch through the 2018 km around South Korea which is hosting the winter games for the first time in the history of the country and third time in Asia. Japan has hosted the games two times in 1872 and 1998, Varzesh3 reported.

Iran’s female skier Forough Abbasi, 24, is one of the torchbearers. She is currently an alpine ski team member who has achieved several honors in several sporting fields including third place in the National Endurance horse riding, third in national rock climbing competitions and  national seniors’ championship for mountain biking. Abbasi also attended the Sochi 2014 winter Olympics.

Azim Gheychisaz is another Iranian athlete who carried the torch. Gheychisaz, 35, is a mountain climber and the summiteer of all 14 eight-thousanders. He is a member of national mountaineering team. By 2017, he successfully completed ascent to all 14 peaks over 8’000 meters and he did so without supplementary oxygen.

The eight-thousanders are the 14 independent mountains on Earth that are more than 8,000 meters high above sea level. All eight-thousanders are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia.

Iran has another member among the bearers. Iranian actor Bahram Radan, 38, was also there to run with the torch. In 2010, he was chosen by United Nations as the first Iranian UN Ambassador against hunger.

Pointing to the eccentric events of the relay, two robots joined the torchbearers. The DRC-HUBO, a humanoid robot, created by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, carried the torch while controlled by Dennis Hong, engineering professor in UCLA. Hong handed the torch to HUBO, which ran for 160 kilometers.

Also FX-2 robot, a next generation riding robot, carried the torch with a young aspiring scientist Lee Jeong-jae, 14, in the pilot seat.

The pilot controlled the robot’s movements through the data-arm. Lee piloted the robot to grasp the torch with its five fingers.

  Achievers and Dreamers

According to Olympic.org, in selecting the torchbearers, the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 (POCOG) chose what it terms as “Achievers” (those who have opened new horizons and continue to go above and beyond) and “Dreamers” (those who pursue their dreams to open new horizons).

The torch, which measures 700mm in length - reflecting PyeongChang’s altitude of 700 meters above sea level - has been designed to withstand the wind, rain and snow it may well encounter en route to the Olympic Stadium.

It comprises an air tunnel that will provide more oxygen and keep the flame alight should the wind blow, and it also features a pentagon-shaped hole at its base to drain off any water should the rain fall.

Made from waterproof fabric, the white and gold torchbearer uniform is also specially designed to keep the wearer dry and warm in adverse weather conditions.

As it makes its way around the host country, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay will provide a truly inclusive spectacle, in keeping with its motto “Let Everyone Shine”.

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