Olympic Torch Lighting 2018: Live-Stream Info and Historical Meaning

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2018

South Korean Ryu Seung-min, a member of the IOC Athletes Commission, carries the Olympic torch as he hangs from a wire during the Olympic Torch Relay in Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The Olympic flame arrived in South Korea Wednesday where it will be passed throughout the country by thousands of torchbearers on a 100-day journey to the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

While the first events of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will take place before the Opening Ceremony, the traditional lighting of the Olympic cauldron will happen on February 9 at the Olympic Stadium.

Long a staple of the Olympic Games, fans will be able to watch the Opening Ceremony via a host of live streaming options. NBC Sports will have live coverage for American viewers―contrary to their controversial tape-delaying for certain time zones in recent editions―and Eurosport and the BBC hold broadcasting rights in the UK.

Leo Correa/Associated Press

When the torch arrives on February 9, it will complete a journey that started all the way in Greece on October 24. Per tradition, it was lit at the site of the ancient Olympics, where the Greeks maintained continuous fires during their games.

A mirror is used to light the flame, as you can see in the video below:

The Olympic flame tradition was absent during the first modern games but returned in 1928, when the Amsterdam Olympics in the Netherlands maintained a lit cauldron. The relay was introduced eight years later for the 1936 Games in Berlin, Germany.

As you can see in the video below, the Winter Olympics had to wait a little longer for their own relay:

Greek skier Apostolos Angelis started this year's relay in Olympia, before passing the torch to former Manchester United star Park Ji-Sung.

Angelis told Olympics.org how proud he was to be involved: "It is a great honour for me to be chosen as the first torchbearer for the Olympic Winter Games of 2018. It is truly a unique moment that I am looking forward to. I feel very proud and with a unique sense of happiness."

After a lengthy trip all over Greece and a flight to the Asian continent, the torch arrived in Incheon and continued its journey in South Korea.

As shared by Globalnews.ca, event organisers used the relay to commemorate Korean history, including a 1952 hockey game on the frozen Imjin River during the Korean war:

At the time of writing, it was unclear who will carry the torch into the Olympic Stadium for the final leg of the relay. Event organisers usually keep the identity of the final runner a secret until as late as possible―two years ago, football great Pele was asked to light the cauldron in Rio de Janeiro shortly before the ceremony and eventually had to drop out, per BBC Sport.

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