North Korean Olympic ice hockey players arrive in South

북한 아이스하키팀 진천에 도착

The last minute decision to form a unified women's ice hokcey team for the olympics drew mixed response.
But from here on, athletes of both Koreas must toss everything aside and focus on bringing out the best in each other when they hit the rink together.
Pyongyang's squad has arrived in Jincheon, ready to train and put the joint team's chemistry to the test in a friendly match.
Won Jung hwan has the full story.

The North Korean women's ice hockey players arrived in South Korea on Thursday. 12 hockey players, along with 3 staff members, will form a combined team with their southern counterparts for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

After crossing the border on Thursday morning, the team, wearing the colors of the North Korean flag, headed to the national training center in Jincheon, 90 kilometers south of Seoul.

The coach of the North Korean team expressed his feelings toward forming the only combined South-North team at the PyeongChang Olympics.


"I am very pleased to participate at the Olympics as the only unified team formed between North and South. If we work together with unified strength and mind, I think we will achieve good results at the Games."

The hockey team have their first training session next week under Sarah Murray, the head coach of the unified team,... and will play Sweden in a friendly match five days before the start of the Olympics. Their first group stage match is against Switzerland on February 10th.
Another 10 North Korean athletes including a figure skating pair,... and several speed skaters and skiers will also compete at PyeongChang.

But North Korea's participation has proved controversial among South Koreans. Some welcomed the North's participation,... but others complained that the unified women's ice hockey team was unfair to the South Korean athletes, depriving them of a chance to compete at the games.
And there are concerns that the sudden addition of so many players so close to the competition could also disrupt team chemistry and impact on results.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.

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