Joint Korean Women’s Hockey Team Eliminated in the Winter Olympics

That didn’t take long for joint women’s hockey team to get eliminated:

Korea-Sweden hockey match

Goalie Shin So-jung of the unified Korean team (R) looks at the puck after allowing a goal in a women’s preliminary round ice hockey game at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, 240 kilometers east of Seoul, on Feb. 12, 2018. The joint Korean team lost 8-0, suffering a preliminary round exit. (Yonhap)

The joint Korean women’s hockey team was eliminated in the preliminary round at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Monday, following its 8-0 loss to Sweden.

Korea suffered its second straight loss in Group B play, at Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, site of all ice events during the Olympics, two days after falling to Switzerland 8-0. The shots were 50-19 for Sweden.

Korea needed to finish in the top two in Group B to reach the knockout stage. And with the two losses, it won’t get there regardless of the result against Japan in Group B finale on Wednesday, which will also take place at Kwandong.

Sweden, which earlier beat Japan 2-1, and Switzerland have two wins apiece. They’ll clash on Wednesday at Kwandong with the top seed at stake. [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but the women’s hockey team was not expected to do much in the Winter Olympics.  With that said I have to wonder how much the fact that the North Koreans were added to the the team just a few weeks before the Olympics impacted their play?  The team is getting drubbed and has not scored a goal yet.

 

American Becomes South Korean Citizen to Play on Olympic Ice Hockey Team

Via a reader tip comes this article about another free agent signing by South Korea for the upcoming Olympic Games.  At least he earned his spot on the team and did not have it handed to him like the North Korean female ice hockey players:

In 2013-14, without much to lose, he signed with Anyang Halla, a team based about 12 miles south of Seoul, South Korea. He was driven to his apartment directly from the airport but couldn’t sleep because of jet lag. So he walked around the city and took it all in — the skyscrapers, the frantic bustling on the streets, the colorful billboards, all in a language he did not recognize. “What did I sign up for?” he wondered.

Five years later, Testwuide’s hockey career has been revived. He has rediscovered his passion for the game. He’s playing some of the best hockey of his life. In fact, Testwuide is getting ready to play on the world’s biggest stage, as an Olympian — and with a South Korean flag stitched to his jersey.

The tale of how a kid from Colorado became a South Korean citizen — with no connections or roots to the country — is quite remarkable. That Testwuide is preparing to be an Olympian is unfathomable, even to him.   [ESPN]

You can read the rest at the link, but it is unclear from the article if he still has US citizenship or not.  If he has dual citizenship then he gets the benefits of both playing in the Olympics and still being an American.

Picture of the Day: The Imjim Classic

Imjin Classic 2018

A Canadian veteran of the 1950-53 Korean War, Claude Charland (L), receives a plaque of appreciation from Army Maj. Gen. Park Jung-hwan, chief of the 1st Infantry Division, before a commemorative ice hockey game, the Imjin Classic 2018, at the Yulgok Wetland Park in the South Korean border town of Paju, north of Seoul, on Jan. 19, 2018. The Canadian Embassy organized the game, which coincided with the Feb. 9-25 PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics torch relay, in partnership with the PyeongChang Organizing Committee. During the 1950-53 Korean War, Canadian soldiers stationed near the front lines carved out a makeshift hockey rink on the frozen Imjin River, and two regiments played friendly hockey matches. (Yonhap)

South Korean Hockey Coach Unhappy About Adding North Korean Players

I would be upset to if players that worked hard to make the team get left out of competing to make way for people that did not earn a spot and are only there due to nuclear extortion:

South Korea women’s hockey head coach Sarah Murray speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport on Jan. 16, 2018. (Yonhap)

South Korea women’s hockey head coach Sarah Murray said Tuesday her players will suffer “damage” if North Korean players are added to the team for next month’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Murray made the remarks after returning home from the team’s U.S. training camp in the wake of the South Korean government’s proposal to form a single Korean team at the Olympics.  (….)

“I think there is damage to our players,” Murray told reporters at Incheon International Airport. “It’s hard because the players have earned their spots and they think they deserve to go to the Olympics. Then you have people being added later. It definitely affects our players.”  [Yonhap]

Here is the solution the ROK government is trying to come up with which is very Korean, please understand our special situation:

South Korean officials have said they’re seeking to keep the South Korean roster of 23 and add extra North Korean players and that they’ve asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for cooperation. According to these officials, the IOC and the IIHF are also seeking understanding from other participating nations because a roster expansion granted to only one team would create an uneven playing field.

Murray said she felt other countries may understand the situation and see it as a “political statement.”

Picture of the Day: ROK Wins Ice Hockey Match Over North Korea 3-0

Inter-Korean ice hockey match

South and North Korean players compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship Division II Group A at Gangneung Hockey Centre in the namesake city, 237 kilometers east of Seoul, on April 6, 2017. The South shut out the North 3-0. (Yonhap)

Korea Adds North American Born Hockey Players to Its National Team

Just another example of how the Olympics has become a professional sports league which even has its own free agency period:

Canadian-born ice hockey player Brock Radunske, second from right, speaks with his teammates in the national team in this file photo taken March 27, 2013 at the ice rink of the National Training Center in Seoul. / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-cheol

Since the Canadian-born ice hockey player Brock Radunske joined Anyang Halla to become the first naturalized Korean athlete, five more foreign-born players have migrated to Korea. Matt Dalton, Eric Reagan, Brian Young and Michael Swift are all from Canada and Mike Testwuide is American-born.

The six foreign-born athletes are now playing for Korea’s national team, making the once homogeneous team diverse. Foreign-born athletes account for nearly 25 percent of the 25-member men’s hockey team.

Jim Paek, the national hockey team manager, said diversity has made the men’s ice hockey team stronger.   [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.