South and North Korea have fielded a joint
team in women’s ice hockey at this Olympics, and Saturday saw their first game… against
Switzerland. It was a blowout for the Koreans — they lost
8 to zero — but in the stands, the excitement perhaps told a different story. Our Lee Ji-won has more from Pyeongchang. The two Koreas’ joint ice hockey team had
their first preliminary game on Saturday against Switzerland… at the Kwandong Hockey Centre
in Gangneung. Though hockey is not South Korea’s strong
suit,… tickets were sold out hours before, and people were waiting infront of the venue,
hoping to get a seat even after it started. “I came to watch the games with my friends
because it’s the first time the two Koreas have competed in the Olympics together. I wanted to witness this historic moment.” South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and the
First Lady were also there,… together with Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader
Kim Jong-un, and IOC President Thomas Bach. Viewers were also keen to see the debut of
North Korea’s cheering squad of 230 people. Dressed in red, and each holding a unification
flag,… the cheering squad split up and sat in 7 different sections. Their singing filled the rink, and they chanted
“we are one” throughout the game. The South Korean spectators started out with
a different chant, but they gradually unified their chant with that of the North’s, becoming
one loud voice. Team Korea lost 8 to nil, but for many the
game was an unforgettable experience. “We’re very thankful to have been able to
watch the cheering squad. It was very touching. Though the two Koreas are divided, I hope
the Olympics are an opportunity for the two sides to improve their ties.” “If you see the match, the entire crowd was
cheering for the one Korean team. We see it as the beginning of a united Korea.” “The next game for Team Korea is against Sweden
on Monday evening. Though they lost their recent friendly match
against the Swedes, there’s hope the collective will of all Koreans might drive the unified
squad to grab their first victory on ice. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News, Gangneung.”