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2018 Winter Olympics: North and South Korea

Alexus Hopkins, Writer

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Seventeen days, 2,952 athletes, 15 games, 102 gold medals, 95 nations, and one opening ceremony where two countries united as one set the scene as the 2018 Winter Olympics went underway. The 2018 Winter Olympics attracted athletes from around the world, including North and South Korea who joined together to create the Korean team. At the start of the games, both countries marched united at the opening ceremony, sparking controversy and raising questions among many other countries. The united Korean flag was carried by South Korean bobsledder Won Yun-jong and North Korean hockey player Hwang Chung-gum.
This, however, is not the first time they have marched together under the unified flag of the Korean peninsula. They have previously marched together in the 2000, 2004, and 2006 Olympic games. This year, 22 athletes from the combined team competed in the games held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The athletes were supported by a 222 member cheerleading squad sent by North Korea. The cheerleaders arrived at the Olympic Village in South Korea sporting red coats and black caps. North and South Korea joined together to show unity and created a sports diplomacy that had ended in 2008, due to the conservative government in Seoul limiting its ties with North Korea. The head coach was a Canadian who had to select at least three players from North Korea for each event.
In 1988, the last time South Korea held the Olympics, North Korea tried to ruin the games by blowing up a South Korean airplane and the 115 passengers on board. Weeks before the 2018 games began, North Korea had put missile testing aside, along with the postponement of South Korean and North American joint military training. Preparing for the 2018 games, North Korea insisted that South Korea pay for all the uniforms and reduce its number of competitors so the North Korean athletes would not be outnumbered.
The South Korean government has been scrutinized for paying North Koreans delegations expenses. The show of unity is a crucial effort to sustain the mood for talks of denuclearization after the Olympics. North Korea will return to testing missiles, and South Korea and North America will continue their joint military training.

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About the Writer
Alexus Hopkins, Writer

Holo! Its Alexus. I am a member of Breaking Blue, and Yearbook. I love writing stories for people. I also love Casey Cott!

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2018 Winter Olympics: North and South Korea