North and South Korean athletes will come together for competitions at the Winter Olympics. Thomas Bach, the Olympic Committee President, made the announcement.
North Korea will send 22 athletes who will compete in various sports, Bach said. Both North and South Korea sent delegates to a meeting to make decisions concerning Olympic participation.
Along with other competitions, the North Korean athletes will compete in figure skating. However, delegates from North and South Korea met in Lausanne, Switzerland to arrange details concerning the Olympic athletes.
The delegation decided that both North and South Korea would participate in opening ceremonies together, under one flag. Opening ceremonies begin February 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Olympic Committee President Bach felt the athletes from both countries entering the stadium under the unification flag would be an emotional moment. He further stated that he believed the world, as well as, the Koreans would find the moment historic.
Winter Olympics Are Under Way
Along with figure skating, the two countries will enter a women’s hockey team. The team will play under the name Korea and use the unification flag. Athletes will also compete in hockey, speedskating, and other skiing competitions.
There will be 15 women and seven male athletes. Additionally, there will be 24 coaches and 21 people representing various media outlets.
President Bach indicated the process to bring both countries together was trying. He feels the two countries, the International Olympic Committee and the 2018 Olympic Organizing Committee worked very hard and attained the expected results.
Before athletes could compete, proposals from both North and South Korea had to receive approval by the 2018 Pyeongchang Committee. Also, the International Olympic Committee.
Some opinions indicate the joining of North and South Korea at the Olympics could lead to peaceful relations between the two countries. Others believe the move is a strategic one for North Korea’s Kim Jung Un which might not lead to peace at all.