Gymnasts from North, South Korea pose together for selfie
A couple of gymnasts at Rio 2016 have taken to heart one of the founding principles of Olympism – “placing sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind” – in a very modern way.
Gymnasts Lee Eun-ju of South Korea and Hong Un-Jong of North Korea posed for a charming selfie, an impromptu photograph that’s a rare occurrence by members of the two Koreas.
Relations have been frosty between the North and South since its division following the end of World War II.
Technically the two Koreas remain at war with one another – and have been for decades – though an armistice is in place. This doesn’t stop tensions flaring up around the world’s most fortified border.
But geopolitics were put to one side for one moment in Brazil as the two Olympians came together to capture a shared moment of joy while representing their two nations during Sunday’s Gymnastics training at the Rio Olympic Arena.
While this is Lee’s first Olympics, Hong is a veteran gymnast. She became the first North Korean gymnast to win a medal at an Olympic Games when she took home the gold medal in vault at the 2008 Games in Beijing.