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PyeongChang 2018: Unified Korea Women’s Hockey Team May Bag a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Amid Defeat From Japan

by Jessica Rapir / Feb 15, 2018 03:35 AM EST
Unified Korea women's hockey team lost a game to Japan but may receive a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Photo by: Olympics / Facebook

For the first time in Olympics' history, South and North Korea unite to defeat one common archrival - Japan.  Although in the end, the Korean unified women's hockey team lost their game in the ongoing PyeongChang 2018, they still score a political win. Reports emerged about a possible Nobel Peace Prize nomination for the Korean team.

The unified Korean Peninsula team failed to get a medal but the squad could still bag an equally bigger prize. International Olympic Committee executive board member Angela Ruggiero is suggesting that the inter-Korean team should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Ruggiero said she would ask other members of the OIC to nominate the squad.

"I would love the team to get the Nobel Peace Prize. Seriously, the team. Something that is recognizing the sacrifice they made to adjusting their competitions," Ruggiero told Reuters.

The Message of Korea's Unification Team

South and North Korea, the countries that are technically in a nuclear conflict, played together against Japan on Tuesday. It was the first time the two countries merged and played at the Olympic Games. Korean women's hockey team coach Sarah Murray said the decision to unite the Korean women's hockey squad is not a political statement but rather a team up to win their games in the Winter Olympics 2018. The unified team was only pulled together two weeks prior to the Olympics kick off.  

"We were just a team coming together to play in the Olympics, same as Sweden, same as Japan, same as Canada we were one team. We weren't trying to make a statement we were just trying to put together our best game with the roster we had," Murray said as quoted by Reuters.

Unified Korea vs Japan in PyeongChang 2018 Olympics

It was an emotional yet loud game. The Korean team scored only once in the entire game. But it was enough to send the crowd wild as everyone waved their unification flags.

The Korean team was put under pressure to win the preliminary round game against Japan after it loses its previous games against Switzerland and Sweden. At the end, Japan defeated the Korean unified women's hockey team, 4-1. It was the last game for the Korean women's ice hockey team to win a gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The team will proceed to the classification round and will play against losers of the quarterfinal games. The 12 North Korea players will continue to be part of the team their remaining games in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics.

Korean vs Japan Beyond Winter Olympics 2018

The tension between Japan and the two Korean countries have long been simmering. It could be traced back to Imperial Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula between 1910 and 1945. It was before the border that separated the North and South was established in 1953. During Japan's colonization, Koreans suffered from the hands of the Imperial rule.

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