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PyeongChang Olympic cauldron unveiled

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The PyeongChang Olympic cauldron is a white tower visible atop one of the corners of the pentagonal Olympic Stadium that will host the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9.

It is the most traditional cauldron setup since the 2008 Beijing Games.

In 2010, the Vancouver Winter Games had two cauldrons — one inside in the ceremonies venue and one outside in the city for the public to view.

The London 2012 flame could not be seen outside the Olympic Stadium. It was lit in the center of the stadium and then moved to a side area.

The PyeongChang cauldron will not be moved, organizers said.

The Sochi 2014 cauldron was in the middle of the Olympic Park but visible through an opening at the north end of the ceremonies stadium (and also tall enough to be seen from the stadium).

Rio had two cauldrons — one lit at the Opening Ceremony inside the Maracanã — and another in the city for the public to view.

So, who will light the PyeongChang cauldron on Feb. 9?

“If I tell you, I have to kill you,” a PyeongChang 2018 press operations official joked two weeks ago. “I really can’t tell you about this. I don’t want to spoil the show.”

Most believe it will be Yuna Kim, the wildly popular 2010 Olympic figure skating champion and ambassador for PyeongChang 2018.

“She has been very, very instrumental promoting the Games,” the PyeongChang 2018 official said. “She has done a tremendous job. She’s been with us at every important event promoting the Games. We really appreciate all her hard work.”

At the previous Olympics in South Korea, the 1988 Seoul Games, three South Koreans lit the cauldron simultaneously — a teacher, a high school student and a marathoner at those Games.

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MORE: PyeongChang Olympic daily schedule highlights

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Chicago Marathon canceled; one major marathon left in 2020

Chicago Marathon
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The Chicago Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the fourth World Marathon Major called off this year.

Organizers cited the challenge of staging the 45,000-runner event “out of concern for the safety of event participants, volunteers, event staff and spectators.”

Previously, major marathons were canceled in Berlin (originally scheduled for Sept. 27), Boston (April 20, then Sept. 14) and New York City (Nov. 1). The London Marathon, originally scheduled for April 26 and postponed to Oct. 4, remains scheduled.

The other World Marathon Major, Tokyo, took place on its scheduled date of March 1 but with elite runners only.

Last year, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei won Chicago by taking 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record. Kosgei clocked 2:14:04.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results

Figure skating Grand Prix events in China remain scheduled

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Figure skating Grand Prix events in China in November and December remain scheduled, the International Skating Union announced Monday, four days after reports about international sporting events in China being canceled through the end of 2020.

A notice about sports events, issued Thursday by the General Administration of Sport of China, made an exception for Beijing Winter Olympic test events and other preparations for the first Winter Games in China in February 2022.

The Grand Prix Final, the second-most prestigious annual figure skating competition, is still scheduled for December in Beijing because it is an Olympic test event.

Furthermore, the Cup of China, one of six events across the globe that determines Grand Prix Final qualifiers, remains scheduled for November in Chongqing because it is related to the Final.

“Like for all other five ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events in the different countries, this is of course subject to finding the necessary logistical, medical and safety solutions to hold the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events as planned,” according to the ISU.

The ISU previously announced it set a deadline to decide on possible event cancellations: 12 weeks before an event starts. For the first Grand Prix Series competition, Skate America in Las Vegas, the decision deadline is Aug. 1.

The ISU council will meet virtually on Aug. 3 to decide on further action for upcoming competitions.

MORE: Tai Babilonia, a Winter Olympic original, credits skating trailblazer

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