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Winter Olympics 2018: North Korea and South Korea athletes win hearts with a unified march during the opening ceremony in PyeongChang

126   //    09 Feb 2018, 23:09 IST

North Korea and South Korea athletes walk out together
North Korea and South Korea athletes walk out together

What's the story?

In a surprising exhibition of unity that shunned the tempestuous ties between South Korea and North Korea, the two countries marched out to loud fireworks under a unified Korean flag which added more flair to the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

One of the big names present for the ceremony, North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-Un's sister, Kim Yo-Jong exchanged pleasantries and shook the hand of South Korea's president Moon Jae-in, an incident which grabbed the headlines of the evening news.

In case you didn't know

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, the XXIII version of the games, will be contested in PyeongChang in South Korea from the 9th of February to 25th of February 2018.

Hosting the Winter Olympics for the first ever time, PyeongChang will become only the second city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics after Beijing. Previously, the city had hosted 1988 Summer Olympics.

The heart of the matter

With a lot of controversies circling around the rift between the two countries, all eyes were on the scheduled meeting of the representatives of North and South Korea.

As the crowd in the viciously cold stadium erupted in joy to celebrate the march of the athletes with their country's flag swinging in the cold wind, the unified march of South Korea and North Korea turned the stadium into a cauldron of noise.

Amidst the barrage of stifled ties between the two nations, the coalescence imbibed a sense of togetherness, an ideology which only featured in the dreams of the citizens from both nations.

After a long exile of 11 years, the unified walk on the cold, bitter night added more drama to the gala ceremony. IOC president Thomas Bach was all in praise for the special gesture and was quipped saying, "The joint showing of the people of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a powerful message of peace to the world. We are touched by this gesture. United, we are stronger".

What's next?

The Winter Olympics, which will play host to 92 nations and a total of 2,952 athletes, will be contested from the 9th-25th February 2018 with 102 events in 7 seven sports and 15 disciplines set to ignite the fire to succeed in each athlete.

Author' take

With a lot of light shed on the turbulent relations between the North and South Korea, it is indeed heartening to see the athletes from both nations walking under one flag and celebrating the spirit of sportsmanship.

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