Release Date:
Release ID: 889

DHL brings ‘Flame of Hope’ for the Special Olympics to Seoul, the first stop in Asia Pacific

DHL provides logistics support for the Law Enforcement Torch Run through a global partnership with Special Olympics International

Press Release

DHL, the world’s leading express and logistics company, has successfully delivered the Flame of Hope of the Special Olympics to Seoul, marking the torch’s first stop in Asia Pacific. DHL is sponsoring the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China in a global partnership between DHL and Special Olympics International.

The Flame of Hope, carried by Special Olympics athletes, law enforcement officers and government dignitaries from both Korea and China, along with 20 DHL volunteers, moved from the Olympic Park past Jamsil Sports Complex and on to City Hall. At the welcome ceremony, they were joined by Mr Liu Yungeng, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Multinational People’s Congress and Representative of the Chairman of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee; Mr Pil-Wook Lee, National Customer Service Manager of DHL Korea; Mr Jeong-Gil Kim, Chairman of the Korean Olympics Committee; and various government representatives including Jong-Min Kim, Minister of Culture and Tourism Korea, and Young-Jean Kwon, Vice-Mayor of Seoul City.

The Flame of Hope, which symbolizes courage and celebrates the diversity represented by the Special Olympics movement, was lit on 29 June in Athens, Greece, and has been transported from Athens to Cairo, London and Washington DC before arriving in Seoul. The flame will be delivered to Tokyo and Sydney in the coming weeks before arriving in China for the Games, which will begin on 2 October.

DHL is leveraging on its global network of hubs and gateways to move the Flame of Hope across the cities using a combination of cargo planes as well as DHL ground vehicles and boats to the respective ceremony locations. Along the way, DHL has had to overcome challenges such as aviation regulations requiring the flame to be transferred from the torch to a miner’s lamp. The lamp, which is filled with standard lamp oil, needs to be refilled every 24 hours. Transporting the torch also involves stringent security processes and screening. As with all shipments, the torch is closely-tracked and traced via DHL’s Quality Control Centers, and scanned at each exit and entry point during the Torch’s journey around the world.

Alan Cassels, DHL Express Korea Country Manager, said: “We are proud to be the first official partner of the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run, an event which celebrates personal courage and global diversity – one of our key corporate values. This partnership is our way of paying tribute to the spirit of sportsmanship and tenacity of these very special athletes who have overcome all odds to participate in this global sporting event. DHL Korea will spare no effort in ensuring the continued security and smooth handling of the torch until it leaves for the next country.”

The 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai will host 7,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from more than 160 countries and regions. Over 70 Special Olympics athletes from Korea will travel to Shanghai for the 2007 Games where they will compete in various sports including track and field, swimming, football, table tennis, badminton and basketball. The Torch Run, which showcases the inclusive nature of the Special Olympics and the unification of society, is Special Olympics International’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle.

DHL is an active participant of the global sporting scene and has sponsored several world-renowned sporting events, including the delivery of the NBA Champion Trophy for NBA Madness Korea and a tennis court for Maria Sharapova. Moving the Flame of Hope for Special Olympics International and providing logistics support to the Special Olympics is another of DHL’s contributions to sports.


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