Who's who of South Korean sports, entertainment to bear torch for PyeongChang 2018

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 1, 2017 - 10:06
  • Updated : Nov 1, 2017 - 17:24

INCHEON -- Some of the most visible athletes and celebrities from host nation South Korea will bear the torch for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The Olympic flame was lit last week in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics, and arrived in the South Korea on Wednesday. The 2,018-kilometer relay that will cover the nation then commenced.

Figure skating prospect You Young has the honor of being the first torchbearer at home. She's best known for becoming the youngest national singles champion at 11 in January 2016, breaking the record previously held by Olympic gold medalist Kim Yu-na.

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)

You, still just 13, won't be old enough to compete at PyeongChang 2018, but she is among a group of teenage skaters who could qualify for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

More athletic stars from past and present will be joining her.

Speed skater Lee Sang-hwa, two-time reigning Olympic champion in the women's 500m, will be in the relay Wednesday. No South Korean athlete has won three consecutive gold medals in Winter Olympics.

Football legend Cha Bum-kun and his son Cha Du-ri, currently an assistant coach on the national team, will both carry the torch for PyeongChang. The senior Cha is still considered one of the greatest Asians who competed in Europe, having starred in the Bundesliga in the 1980s. His son played for South Korea at two FIFA World Cups.

Lee Bong-ju, the 1996 Olympic marathon silver medalist, and Park Sang-young, the 2016 Olympic fencing champion, have also been announced as torchbearers.

Former baseball All-Star Lee Man-soo and World Cup football hero Lee Young-pyo are on the list, too.

Among celebrities, singer-actress Suzy and popular comedian Yoo Jae-suk, along with his fellow stars of the variety show "Infinite Challenge," will also bear the torch. (Yonhap)