International Olympic Committee reduces pool of Russian athletes eligible for Olympics

22 January, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Reduced Number Of Russian Athletes For Pyeong Chang 2018 Determined

On a Saturday morning with the temperature near freezing, North and South Korean Olympic leaders received a warm welcome at IOC headquarters in Lausanne for a meeting on the participation of the North in the PyeongChang Winter Games. The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 have opened the door for peaceful dialogue on the Korean peninsula.

Earlier, the Russian Olympic Committee submitted a list of 500 athletes, seeking to take part in the upcoming Games.

Apart from the first-ever joint hockey team with Seoul, the North will also compete in skating and skiing.

The 22 North Korean athletes mark more North Koreans at a Winter Olympics than the last six Winter Games combined.

Others will compete in figure skating, short-track speed skating, cross-country skiing and Alpine skiing. The North will send 24 officials and 21 media representatives.

Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials, and others to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, easing months of high tensions over its weapons programmes.

"It was not easy to put this list together, but we wanted to be absolutely sure that only clean athletes from Russian Federation can be invited to participate in the Olympic Winter Games".

The same goes for North Koreans: viewers should look past the issues the Jong-un regime has created over the past year, and support the athletes who are representing the good of their country.

The IOC said Friday that it will work with the suspended Russian Olympic Committee to determine which clean athletes will fill earned slots by sport, discipline and event.

Unified women's ice hockey - 12 players and one official from North Korea will be added to the existing South Korea squad of 23 players.

On Tuesday, the North said a 140-person orchestra would perform in South Korea during the Games.

The team, while historic, has not been universally praised, with Bach ignoring shouts of "Is [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un using the Olympics?" as he left the room afterwards without taking questions.

While South Korea hopes to use the games to improve relations with its rival after a year of animosity over North Korea's rapidly expanding nuclear program, some experts view Kim's overture as an attempt to weaken US-led worldwide sanctions against the North and buy time to further advance his nuclear weapons programme.


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