Korea Explosive Co., Ltd., which began developing
torches in April 1984, introduced creative and excellent torches in the
1986 Seoul Asian Games which was a dress rehearsal for the Olympic Games
to come two years later. The SLOOC decided to use the torches made by Korea
Explosive for the Olympic torch relay again following some adjustments.
The SLOOC had three industrial design specialists produce at least two
torch designs each. The three submitted 13 works in total to the SLOOC
in July 1987. In August the same year, the SLOOC formed a committee comprising
six experts to screen the works. After three rounds of voting, the committee
chose "Brazier" submitted by Prof. Lee Woo-song of Sookmyung Women's University
as the final design for the torch. The committee also selected two others
as candidate designs.
The design of the torch, engraved with two
dragons symbolizing the harmony of East and West, featured a total length
of 55 centimeters, with a 10 centimeter diameter bowl. The torch weighed
1 kilogram and could burn for up to 10 minutes. The height of the flame
was 35 to 40 centimeters with a diameter of 6 centimeters and a brightness
of 700cp. The torch, constructed of brass and plastic, had a wind resistance
of 72 kilometers per hour. The torch, once lit, would not go out even in
sand or water.
A total of 3,300 torches were manufactured
- 500 for use in Greece, 2,600 for the relay in Korea, and 200 for use
in the Paralympics. Local branches of Korea Explosive delivered the torches
to be used in domestic relay. The torches were loaded on designated vehicles
one day before the run and distributed to runners 30 minutes before the
Mobile cauldrons to lay the flame in state
overnight during the torch relay were designed by Prof. Boo Soo-in of Seoul
National University and manufactured by Rinnai Korea Co., Ltd. The design
of the mobile cauldrons, Supported with eight pillars inspired
by ancient octagonal pavilions, called for
a total height of 165 centimeters with diameter ranging from 90 to 119
centimeters. The height of the flame was 70 centimeters with a diameter
of 36 centimeters.
Constructed of steel plate and wood, the cauldrons
used propane gas as fuel and could burn round the clock with a strong resistance
to wind and rain. The cauldrons were designed to control the size of the
flame depending on the weather conditions.
The cauldron designed to be fixed on ships
could keep the flame burning when the ships sailed at a speed of up to
30 knots an hour. The cauldron stands were designed for ease of assembly
and to sustain the weight of the cauldron plus two people.
A total of nine such mobile cauldrons were
manufactured - four for overnight stays, one for celebrating events to
welcome the arrival of the flame at Cheju-do, one each for special events
at Pusan's Yongdusan Park and at Seoul's City Hall Plaza, and two for
ships to carry the flame. Auxiliary equipment
included two sets of cauldron stand, 25 sets of gas supply system used
at overnight stopovers, two maintenance vehicles, and two trucks. A total
of 40 tons of propane gas was consumed during the torch relay.
|Date of the torch relay:
August - 17. September 1988
||Korea Explosive Co. Ltd
|Numbers of runners:
20,889 with escorting runners
|Name of last runner:
winner Berlin 1936
Safety lamps to preserve the flame were held
in reserve in case of failure to keep the flame burning in the torch relay.
The SLOOC placed the manufacturing orders to Fujika-Daewon Electric Co.,
Ltd. which completed the production in April 1986. The safety lamp design
followed that of an ancient Korean astronomical observatory, Chomsongdae,
to a scale of one-fortieth of the actual size. They were made of threefold
steel plate and special aluminium to resist wind and pressure, particularly
to maintain the
surface temperature below 50-fb-C for safety
during air flight. The 35-centimeter-tall lamps with a diameter of 15 centimeters
could burn up to 140 hours using kerosene fuel.
Nine safety lamps were produced - one for
the HOC, two for the torch relay in Korea, another two for the control
center at the SLOOC, one for the yacht marina in Pusan, two others for
Cheju-do, and another one in reserve. Equipment accompanying the
lamps included one lamp stand for use on
cars, nine ignition torches, and one lamp box for air transportation.
The Olympic flame lit up the world for 16
days at the 24th Seoul Olympic Games and all the activities surrounding
the flame were carried out flawlessly by the SLOOC with the great cooperation
of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC).
The lighting of the flame at the Temple of
Hera in Olympia and the torch relay in Greece were conducted under an agreement
signed between the SLOOC and the HOC.
The Olympic flame was flown from the Greek
capital of Athens to Korea`s southernmost point, Cheju Island, aboard a
special Korean Air flight on an air route between the two cities that included
a stopover at Bangkok, Thailand.
The torch relay, originating from Cheju, took
a 4,167.8 kilometer route to Seoul, passing through 21 major cities. The
torch relay route, divided into a total of 1,595 running sections, was
covered by 1,467 torchbearers, 2,782 assistant torchbearers and 16,640
escort runners over 21 nights and 22 days.
During the 22-day odyssey, the torch was relayed
in various ways on foot,m on horseback, aboard ships, cars, bicycles, and
motorcycles. The torchbearers were from all walks of life, including politicians,
artists, clergymen, athletes, handicapped people, children and the elderly,
as well as overseas Korean residents, journalists from various countries
and representatives of NOC`s. Each took their turn to make the torch relay
an event truly symbolic of harmony and progress.
The torches and other equipment used in the
relay such as safety lamps and mobile cauldrons were all developed domestically
with unique designs.
In each city through which the torch relay
passed, art troupes from Korea and abroad celebrated by performing their
traditional folklore as a tribute to the success of the Games.
|Timetable of the torch relay
- Aug. 23-25: From Olympia to Athens (374
- Aug. 25: The flame was handed over to SLOOC
at 8:30 p.m. at the Panathenian Stadium, Athens.
- Aug. 25-27: Flight from Athens to Cheju
- Aug. 27: Ceremonies at Cheju International
Airport for 90 minutes from 11 a.m. to celebrate the
arrival of the flame on Korean soil.
- Aug. 27 - Sept. 17: 22-day and 4,167.8
kilometer torch relay from Cheju to Seoul.
- Sept. 17: Lighting of the flame at the
Olympic Stadium in Seoul at 12:41 p.m.
(Source document: Official
Report 1988, vols. I, Page 364)
Read more: vols. I. , page 367 - 387