The ongoing torch relay for the Incheon Asian Games 2014 is building enthusiasm for the competition as it threads 5,700 kilometers through 17 provinces and cities. 

The Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee held a ceremony to combine the flames drawn from Manisan Mountain on Ganghwado Island and from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, launching the relay on August 13. The flame has already gone through Ulleungdo, Baengnyeongdo and Jejudo islands and has now arrived on the mainland. The torch relay will continue along its course and arrive at the main stadium in Incheon for the opening ceremony on September 19. The "Light of Peace" will stay lit throughout the games. 



(Top) The flame is drawn from atop Manisan Mountain on Gangwhado Island. (Bottom) The Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee holds a ceremony to combine the two flames and to start the torch relay on August 13. (photos: Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee)


The first torch bearer, boxer and actress Lee Si-young kicks off torch relay for the Incheon Asian Games on August 13. (photo: Yonhap News)

On August 14, the flame arrived on Baeknyeongdo Island, the northernmost South Korean island in the Yellow Sea. A total of 106 fishing boats sounded their klaxons to greet the flame. Some 55 participants consisting of residents, marines and students ran a 3.4 kilometer relay. They ran hoping for peace and the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Then the flame left the island and headed to Jejudo Island via airplane. 

The flame arrived on Jejudo Island and traveled a total of 4.8 kilometers, divided into 16 sections. Female divers, police officers on horseback, disabled people and boys and girls who are already heads of their own households, as well as foreign residents, all took part in the relay, taking in the beautiful scenery of the island. 




(Top) Torch bearers run on the sands of Baeknyeongdo Island. (Middle) Foreign residents take part in the torch relay on Jejudo Island. (Bottom) Uleungdo residents hold torches, welcoming the arrival of the flames. (photos: Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee)

The flame arrived on Uleungdo Island on August 18. Five torch bearers, including residents, athletes and students, ran 2.5 kilometers, divided into five sections. Residents welcomed the arrival of the torch despite bad weather and showed their support for the upcoming Asian Games. 

"Incheon is far away from Ulleungdo Island, but I wanted to contribute to the Asian Games and so I applied," said Kim Min-gu, a student. "I am glad to become a torch bearer and I hope that the Incheon games will be successful." 

The torch left the island and arrived in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do (North Gyeongsang Province), the next day on August 19. Torch bearers ran 1.5 kilometers in Gyeongju. Some 41 participants ran along eight sections around the city and arrived in front of Gyeongju City Hall. 

Six foreign residents took part in the relay for the Asian Games, representing a continent of 4.5 billion people. There were welcoming ceremonies, such as a b-boy dance performance, musical performances that were a fusion of traditional Korean music and modern pop music, and a boys and girls choir performance. There was also asamulnori performance of the traditional percussion quartet. 


Sixty five participants run 1.6 kilometers around Ulsan. (photo: Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee)

The flame later arrived in Ulsan on August 19. Torch bearers ran from the Ulsan Culture Art Center to Ulsan City Hall, a total of 1.6 kilometers, divided into 13 sections. Ulsan residents waved and applauded, hoping for a successful hosting of the games. The torch bearers ran to cultural spots across the city to entertain the spectators. The flame arrived at Ulsan City Hall and there was a traditional dance performance by the Ulsan municipal dance company. 

"The gathering of the flame atop Manisan Mountain, a sacred place for the Korean people, is to wish for a successful hosting of the games and to hope for peace," said an organizing committee official. "Now it is united with the flame from New Delhi and it will be lit throughout the games."