South Korean wheelchair curler Seo Soonseok has claimed he was notified just a few hours before the Opening Ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games was due to take place that he would help light the Cauldron.
He and Kim EunJung, the skip of South Korea's silver medal-winning women's curling team at last month's Winter Olympics, lit the Cauldron together at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium last night.
According to Seo, the Cauldron lighters were initially meant to be a North and a South Korean athlete.
But with the two Koreas failing to reach an agreement on a joint march at the Opening Ceremony, he and Kim were handed the role as reserves.
"I was told during lunchtime that I would be the cauldron lighter with Kim," he was reported as saying by South Korea’s news agency Yonhap.
"I only practised the Cauldron lighting once, and that was two days before the Opening Ceremony."
South Korea marched separately from North Korea following a dispute on Thursday (March 8) over the unification flag to be carried.
North Korea said that it wanted the flag to show Dokdo, the island grouping at the centre of a diplomatic dispute between South Korea and Japan, while South Korea apparently wanted to have the unification flag without it so as not to politicise the event.
Ultimately, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided that it did not want any further debate on the matter and suggested the two Koreas march separately at the Opening Ceremony.
Nordic skier Kim Jong-hyon carried North Korea’s flag, while South Korea were led out by cross-country skier and biathlete Sin Eui Hyun, considered the country’s prime gold medal candidate.
One symbol of piece did come in the final Torch Relay, however, with Nordic skiers from the two Koreas - the South's Choi Bogue and the North's Ma Yu Chol - carrying the Paralympic flame together into the venue.
Lee Moon-tae, director of the Opening Ceremony, said he wanted to have the two Koreas portray a moment of collaboration.
"[The Korean Peninsula] is divided in the middle, and that could mean our country is disabled," he told a press conference here today.
"I thought South and North Korean athletes joining hands would symbolise disabled and non-disabled coming together."
Lee said he asked organisers to arrange for athletes from South and North Korea to participate in the Opening Ceremony in some way.
"For the Torchbearers, this is not our responsibility," he added.
"It was Pyeongchang 2018 and the IPC.
"Thankfully the North Korean delegates and those star athletes that the Korean people want to see as Torchbearers were gathered together."