Unified Korean Olympic Team to March at Olympic Winter Games
On Saturday, January 20th, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced that a delegation from the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will participate in the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018. Under the name “Olympic Korean Peninsula Declaration,” the IOC will grant accreditations to the NOC of the DPRK for 22 athletes in three sports and five disciplines.
The IOC has also approved the request of the NOCs of South Korea and the DPRK to have their delegations marching together as one under the name “Korea” at the Opening Ceremony. This delegation will be led into the Olympic Stadium by the Korean Unification Flag, which will be carried by two athletes—one from each NOC. They have also agreed to have one female and one male athlete flagbearer.
IOC President Bach emphasized that the meeting and concomitant discussions had taken place in the “Olympic spirit.” Is noted: “The Olympic spirit is about respect, dialogue, and understanding. The Olypic 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.”
This announcement comes in the wake of escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States. Though American President Donald Trump has described talks between North and South Korea as a “good thing,” Twitter feuds and ongoing military drills have only sought to increase tension between the countries.