The organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games have revealed the name of the first torch bearer, giving the honor of carrying the Olympic flame to the country’s most successful footballer, Park Ji-Sung.
Former men’s national team captain Park, who is also the first Asian footballer to have won the UEFA Champions League, will carry the Olympic torch immediately after its lighting in Athens, which is scheduled for October 24.
The Olympic flame will then be taken on a 100-day tour, visiting eight major cities across South Korea until it finally arrives in the host city Pyeongchang for the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
A member of the Manchester United Champions League winning squad in 2008, the now-retired Park was named an honorary ambassador for his home Winter Olympics in August of this year.
Park played for South Korea at three FIFA World Cups and marked his career-best result back in 2002, at his team’s home tournament co-hosted with Japan, where they reached the semi-finals, losing 1-0 to Germany.
“Three-lungs” Park also plaid for his country in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, where South Korea failed to get past the group stage.
The organizers of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, whose slogan for the Winter Olympics is “Let Everyone Shine,” hope to bring the participating nations together at the world’s biggest winter sports spectacle.
Many countries, however, have already voiced concerns over political stability in the region, since tensions between South and North Korea have escalated, following a series of missile tests by the communist state in recent months.
South Korea has submitted an Olympic Truce proposal, which will be voted on by the United Nations General Assembly on November 13.
The International Olympic Committee has also said that it is “closely monitoring” rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.
American President Donald Trump stated in August that any “threats” coming from North Korea to the US “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”