[PyeongChang 2018] Two former football stars join torch relay for PyeongChang 2018

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 3, 2017 - 13:21
  • Updated : Nov 21, 2017 - 17:36

Two former football stars will serve as torchbearers for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, a corporate sponsor of the event said Friday.

Coca-Cola, one of the three presenting partners for the Olympic torch relay, said current South Korea national football team assistant coach Cha Du-ri and former national team striker Shin Young-rok will carry the sacred fire together in Busan on Saturday. Coca-Cola said Cha and Shin will run as a group with other runners. 

In this file photo taken on Sept. 19, 2015, former South Korean national football team striker Shin Young-rok waves to fans during an event at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

Shin, who previously played for South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Turkish side Bursaspor, suffered a heart attack during a K League match in 2011. The 30-year-old regained consciousness after 50 days in a coma.

Cha played for many Europeans clubs including Frankfurt and Celtic. The forward-turned-right hung up his boots in 2015. His father and German Bundesliga legend Cha Bum-kun is also one of the runners for the torch relay. 

In this file photo taken on Sept. 2, 2017, South Korea national football team assistant coach Cha Du-ri gives direction to players at a training session in Tashkent ahead of the final Asian World Cup qualifying match against Uzbekistan. (Yonhap)

The torch relay in South Korea began on Wednesday when the countdown to the PyeongChang Olympics reached 100 days. The route will cover 2,018 kilometers -- the same number as the year in which the Olympics is taking place -- through nine provinces, eight major cities, and 151 counties and districts. The relay will have 7,500 runners in total. (Yonhap)