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First South Korean Olympic torch bearer announced

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Park Ji-sung, a retired Manchester United midfielder, will be the first South Korean torch bearer for the PyeongChang Olympic torch relay on Oct. 24.

The ceremonial flame lighting will take place in Olympia, Greece, the birthplace of the ancient Olympics.

The first torch bearer there will be a Greek, as is tradition, followed by Park.

The flame will later fly from Greece to Incheon International Airport near Seoul for a 101-day trek through South Korea before the Feb. 9 Opening Ceremony.

Park, now 36, played for South Korea at the 2000 Sydney Olympics at age 19 before appearing in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

Winter Games organizers published a video outlining the torch relay route.

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MORE: North Korea qualifies for PyeongChang Olympics

Usain Bolt has ‘a lot of offers’ from soccer teams

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A torn hamstring will apparently not keep Usain Bolt from his long-talked-about pursuit of soccer.

“We have a lot of offers from different teams, but I have to get over my injury first and then take it from there,” Bolt said while in Sydney this week, according to the Daily Telegraph in Australia.

What those offers entail, and who extended them, are not clear.

Separately, Bolt spoke with former longtime Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson while attending a United-Leicester City match on Aug. 26.

“I said, if I get fit, will you give me a trial, and he said give me a call and we’ll see what happens,” Bolt said, according to Australia’s 9 News. “So, we’ll see how that works out.”

Bolt has been linked to possibly practicing with his favorite Premier League club or playing in a United exhibition-type match for years.

Bolt also said last year that he expected to train with German club Borussia Dortmund soon after his retirement from track and field after last month’s world championships. Bolt and Dortmund already have a tie-in with apparel sponsor Puma.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the most skilled football player, but I notice that it doesn’t take a lot of skills nowadays,” Bolt said, according to 9 News. “I think I’ll have to learn a lot more passing and control and seeing the game at a different level, but I play a lot of football with my friends, and I think I’m pretty good.”

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MORE: Bolt says his records will stand for 15-20 years

Mesut Özil open to Rio Olympics, but German coach dismisses

Mesut Ozil
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Arsenal star Mesut Özil would oblige if asked to play for Germany at the Rio Olympics, but senior national team coach Joachim Löw said it was unlikely, according to German press agency DPA.

“I can hardly imagine that it is possible given the schedule,” Löw told Sport Bild, according to a DPA translation.

Özil may have Euro 2016 on his slate from June 10-July 10 in France. The Olympic soccer tournament is Aug. 4-20. Arsenal’s first match of the 2015-16 Premier League season was Aug. 9.

The German Olympic team coach is not Löw but Horst Hrubesch. Olympic soccer teams can include no more than three players over the age of 23.

“Should [Hrubesch] ask me, I would not say no,” Özil, 26, told Sport Bild, according to an ESPN FC translation. “I would love to take part in the Olympic Games in Rio and chase the medals with our lads. The Olympic Games would certainly be a real career highlight.”

Özil was unable to play in previous Olympics because Germany did not qualify for Beijing 2008 or London 2012.

Two of his teammates from the Brazil 2014 World Cup triumph, defenders Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker, have retired from international play but said in June they would consider coming back for the Olympics, after Germany qualified.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s Olympic history