Kim Yu-na hopes torch relay will heat up PyeongChang Olympics mood

October 30, 2017
Former Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na, also an honorary ambassador for the 2018 PyeongChang Games, speaks to reporters before the dress rehearsal of the Olympic flame handover ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Oct. 30, 2017. (Yonhap)

Former Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na, also an honorary ambassador for the 2018 PyeongChang Games, speaks to reporters before the dress rehearsal of the Olympic flame handover ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Oct. 30, 2017. (Yonhap)

ATHENS, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) — Figure skating icon Kim Yu-na expressed hopes on Monday that the upcoming relay of the Olympic flame will heat up the mood for the PyeongChang Games.

Kim, who won the gold medal in women’s figure skating at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, arrived in the Greek capital on Sunday as a member of the South Korean delegation that will receive the sacred fire from the Greeks.

The 16-member team is due to receive the flame at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Tuesday.

“I can now feel that the PyeongChang Olympics are getting started,” said Kim, who is also an honorary ambassador to the Games, before the dress rehearsal at the ancient marble stadium. “Once the flame lands in South Korea, I hope the Olympic fever will surge with the torch relay.”

Kim will fly back home with the flame, which will be kept alive in a security lamp, on Wednesday, when the PyeongChang Olympics mark the 100-day countdown.

Kim, who also has a silver medal from the 2014 Sochi Games, said she is “honored” to join the delegation that will deliver the Olympic flame to South Korea.

“For the 2006 Torino Games and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, I was the torchbearer and now I get to meet the Olympic flame as an honorary ambassador,” she said. “This is my first visit to Greece and it’s going to be a memorable experience for me.”

Kim, who hung up her skates in 2014, said she will enjoy the PyeongChang Games as a fan of winter sports.

“I’ve experienced two Olympic Games before, but it feels different this time,” she said. “It’s the Olympic Games in my home country, and I have a big expectation because I can enjoy the event as a fan.”

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