GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — They cheered. They cried. They hugged. They watched as fans by the thousands shouted, “We are one.” Unification flags for the two Koreas, longtime rivals and sometimes bitter enemies, flapped across the Olympic arena.
And now they go back home, quite possibly never to see each other again.
The Korean women’s hockey team, which included players from both North and South, ended its historic Olympic run on Tuesday with a fifth straight loss but a host of unforgettable feel-good sparks.
Team Korea was defeated by Sweden 6-1 in a seventh-place match in the Pyeongchang Games on Tuesday, a healthy crowd again on hand to cheer them on.
For South Korean goalie Shin So Jung, the opportunity to experience such a moment from the inside — and appreciate it while it was happening — was unforgettable.
“Our win-loss record isn’t good, but I hope we brought them joy and heartfelt moments,” Shin said. “I don’t think I will experience anything like this again. So many people came here to see us and cheer for us. I hope their love for us lasts.”