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Maker of 2018 Winter Olympics torch puts itself at center of games' promotion

Hanwha Group, the South Korean conglomerate that made the Olympic torch for the upcoming Winter Games, will put itself in the forefront in promoting the event by tracking the flame as it travels through the country starting Wednesday, company officials said.

The conglomerate that made the torch for the 1988 Seoul Summer Games was again tapped to make the torch for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics that opens in February.

Company officials said Hanwha made 9,640 torches and delivered them to the PyeongChang Olympics organizing committee.


The business group has selected 101 people to be the torchbearers in the 2,018-kilometer relay for the flame, including Park Chan-ho, a former pitcher for Hanwha Eagles who went on to play for Major League Baseball. Family members of soldiers killed in the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan; Hwang Hae-do of Hanwha Techwin, who was the master brain behind the development of South Korea's space rocket Naro-1; and Lee Min-young of the Hanwha Golf Team will also participate in the relay. 

Hanwha, also known for its annual fireworks festival, will stage a fireworks performance welcoming the torch to South Korea on Wednesday in Incheon, west of Seoul, where the relay begins after arriving at Incheon International Airport. There will be 33 firework shows in all organized by the conglomerate, including one in each city where the flame travels to, and at the opening and closing of the PyeongChang Games, company officials said.

Hanwha started holding firework shows in 1964 and was the organizer of performances in the 1988 Summer Olympics, 2002 World Cup Final, 2005 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. (Yonhap)