SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea President Moon Jae-in said Saturday he hopes to see North Korean athletes at next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea to ease tensions over the North’s nuclear program.
Moon made the comments during the opening ceremony of the world taekwondo championships in the South Korean town of Muju, where a North Korean delegation led by International Olympic Committee member Chang Ung was also present.
The championships, which will feature a performance by the North Korean taekwondo demonstration team, mark the first sports exchange between the Koreas since the liberal Moon took office in May.
Moon has expressed a desire to use the Feb. 9-25 Pyeongchang Olympics to reach out to North Korea, with relations between the two at their lowest point in decades. During his stay in the South, Chang is expected to meet South Korean officials to discuss cooperation at the Winter Olympics.
“If North Korean athletes participate in the Pyeongchang Olympics, I think it would greatly contribute in realizing Olympic values, which are about bringing humanity together and promoting world peace,” said Moon.
He recalled key moments in sports diplomacy between the Koreas, including when they sent unified teams to the world table tennis and youth soccer championships in 1991, and their athletes marching together during the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Participation in Pyeongchang could “provide a turning point for the reconciliation between the South and North,” Moon said. “I sincerely ask the IOC and (IOC member) Chang who are here with us today for their strong consideration and cooperation.”
After two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto suffered a spinal cord injury while attempting a standing back flip in April 2016, he decided to set a goal for himself. Nietro was determined to walk down the aisle at his own wedding.
On Saturday, July 22, 2017, Nieto walked to the altar in front of everyone gathered at Christ Temple Apostolic Church in east San Diego – something his doctors said might not be possible.
Nieto, with some assistance, entered the church where he then married his bride, Jamaican hurdler Shevon Stoddart, exactly how he set out to – on his feet.
Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings dislocated her shoulder during the semifinals of a beach volleyball tournament in Poland and forfeited the bronze medal match.
Walsh Jennings and new partner Nicole Branagh were tied in the third set of their match against Canada on Saturday when Walsh Jennings dove for the ball with her right arm and twisted her hand in the sand. After a four-minute delay, Canada went on to win the third set 16-14 and advance to the gold medal match.
“I just went for a short dig and the surface in Europe is so shallow and so hard and there’s no give for our bodies,” Walsh Jennings explained after the match in an interview with her shoulder wrapped in ice.
Walsh Jennings had surgery on the same shoulder during the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she and April Ross won the bronze medal. Walsh Jennings won three gold medals with Misty May Treanor.
Walsh Jennings said she is looking forward to returning to the FIVB World Tour in Vienna in one week.