27일간의 여정, 아이스하키 남북 단일팀 대장정 마무리
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics has been full of amazing wins and shock defeats, but you could argue that the biggest story of these Games was the formation of the unified Korean women’s ice hockey team.
Their journey together lasted less than four weeks,… and they couldn’t manage a victory,… but the coming together of the two Koreas on the ice will go down in history.
Lee Seung-jae reports.
While the possibility of a joint-Korean women’s ice hockey team was first raised in June of last year,… the decision to actually form it was only announced on January 20th.
Head coach Sarah Murray found herself in an unusual spot,… accepting a group of outsiders into the squad just five days later… and being tasked with making them play as a fluid unit at the Games.
What started as an awkward atmosphere in the locker room,… gradually turned warm…. with the South Korean players throwing a surprise birthday party for one of their new North Korean teammates.
Having broken the ice on a personal level,.. the joint team were thrown straight into it… with a friendly match on February 4th against Sweden,… one of the best teams in the world.
And a mere six days later,… history was made once again,… as the joint-team took to the ice for their first game of the Olympics against Switzerland.
Unfortunately for them,… the standard of the opposition was too great and they lost heavily in that match and to Sweden in their second match.
However,… in their third preliminary game,… the team managed to find the back of the net in a 4-1 loss to Japan.
Korean-adoptee Randi Heesoo Griffin scored the famous goal …and that very puck already has pride of place at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.
While the squad — consisting of 23 South Koreans and 12 North Koreans — finished the Olympics winless,… the message of peace was as special as a place on the podium.
Their 27-day journey has come to an emotional end,… but many wonder now,… if their sporting union could provide the spark for a more peaceful relationship between the two Koreas.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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