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IOC, IIHF seek a turn with the ‘N. Korea card’

Posted January. 22, 2018 07:37,   

Updated January. 22, 2018 08:39


Some people say that the dramatic agreement to form a unified inter-Korean women’s ice hockey team was a result of a shared interest among the two Koreas, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

It was the IOC that first welcomed a unified inter-Korean team. A unified team of the only divided countries in the world participating in the Olympics was a “material” it could not miss, as the IOC concerned that the atmosphere of the Olympic Games was not festive enough.

International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel also regards a unified inter-Korean team as a card for success. As players of the National Hockey League (NHL), comprised of a majority of superstars, are not attending the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the success of the games was questionable. A unified Korean team could be a golden opportunity to reverse the atmosphere of uncertainty. Thomas Bach, the president of IOC, immediately asked for an advice to Fasel.

The IOC Executive Board has the authority to decide the total number of Olympic participants. However, the Executive Board delegated all authority to Bach and Fasel, the two most qualified people for the winter sports, at a meeting held in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com