In a huge show of peace and unity, the athletes from North Korea marched alongside South Korea at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony!
Waving a single white flag that featured the Korean peninsula in blue, athletes from North and South Korea walked together during the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang on Feb. 9. Since the two countries have been divided since the 1950-53 war, seeing them united was a huge deal, especially with the rising tensions between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and the United States’ Donald Trump. It was indeed touching moment, and a perfect way to kick off the Olympics.
The countries came out with two bearers waving one flag together, as it was all about the unity. The Koreans – both North and South – were dressed as one, in full-length white parkas, similarly colored as the Korean flag they waved. This was the first time the country walked together since 2006, when they came out together for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, according to CNN.
This was more than just a chance to see the two Koreas together. North Korea’s decision to attend the games meant that talks took place between it and South Korea for the first time in years. Though, to be clear, this won’t be North Korea’s first visit to the Olympic Games since the war. Far from it. North Korea has won 56 Olympics medals, 16 of them gold, according to BBC. Sadly, only two of them came from the Winter Games, and their chances to increasing to that number are slim.
North Korea will send 22 athletes to compete in five sports, according to BBC. North Korea will compete in alpine skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating, and cross-country skiing. On top of that, both North and South Korea will field a unified women’s ice hockey team at the 2018 games. “The Olympic spirit is about respect, dialogue and understanding,” International Olympics Committee president Thomas Bach said. “The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula, and inviting the world to join in a celebration of hope.”
12 North Korean players will join the South Korean team. The South Korean head coach will be in charge, but at least three North Koreans must be selected fro the team. Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik will take to the ice for figure skating. Choe Myong-Gwang, Kang Song-Il and Kim Ryon-Hyang will hit the slopes for alpine skiing, while Han Chun-Gyong and Pak Il-Chol will compete in the 15km freestyle cross-country skiing event (while Ri Yong-Gum will compete in the women’s 10km freestyle.) Even if none of these athletes end up on the podium, the chance to improve relations between these two countries is a major win.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think about the two Koreas walking together?