In celebration of the 600 Days to Games mark on June 20, organizers for PyeongChang 2018 announced a global Torch Relay Idea Contest open to anyone and everyone worldwide.
On the competition homepage, entrants find the following greeting:
"The PyeongChang 2018 Torch Relay will shine the light of the Olympic and Paralympic flames on Korea's hidden potential. Please share your ideas for the torch relay, including potential routes, torchbearers, modes of transport or ways to spread the word about the event.
"We especially welcome ideas that highlight Korea's defining qualities -- passion, creativity, dynamism and uniqueness. Make sure your ideas are based on your personal stories and experiences."
Entrants are instructed to read a brief history of the Olympic torch relay tradition, then consider what type of entry (route, runners, transport, publicity) they wish to suggest.
From what I can tell, individuals or teams of up to three people may enter.
In case contributing to Olympic history isn't enough of an incentive, the most creative entries in adult and "students under twenty" (ages 14 to 20) categories may win a trip to Olympia, Greece, to see the start of the 2018 Olympic torch relay, tickets to Winter Olympic events, cash and/or merchandise.
Though the trip to Greece is billed as the top prize, perhaps second prize is more extraordinary in that it includes a runner's segment as torchbearer.
Winners will be chosen through three stages of evaluation including basic entry requirements, "expert" review and a public vote, presumably online and worldwide. Multiple entries are encouraged. The contest is open through August 12.
I love that video files or images are allowed to enhance the entries -- it will be fun to brainstorm some creative options from Atlanta and to see what folks around the world contribute.
Personally hoping a truly new addition to the Olympic torch relay tradition will be created through this contest, which would be a great legacy for the Korean hosts staging their second-ever Olympiad and first Winter Games.
For anyone on the fence about entering, keep in mind "the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part."
Images via PyeongChang 2018