After Oversleeping, Teen Drops F-Bomb On Live TV And Wins Olympic Gold

Embed from Getty Images

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Is “be as badass as Red Gerard” on your bucket list? No? Well, it should be.

The night before competing in the Olympic Games, the Colorado teenager stayed up late binge-watching episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine with his roommate, Kyle Mack.  As a result, he slept through his 6 am alarm the next morning.

After Mack eventually dragged Gerard out of his bed, the snowboarder realized he couldn’t find his coat. So, he borrowed his friend’s and bolted out of the door — an egg, ham, avocado and cheese sandwich in tow.

Like a boss, the 17-year-old proceeded to compete in the Olympics and won the United States’ first gold medal. Yahoo Sports! reports that Gerard scored 87.16 on his final run in the men’s slopestyle, beating Canada’s Max Parrot and Mark McMorris.

As soon as he saw his results, the Colorado teenager couldn’t help but yell, “Holy fuck!” It happened so suddenly, it slipped through TV censors.

“It’s crazy, to be honest, I cannot believe it,” said Gerard. I’m ecstatic. “I can’t believe I got to land my run. Just to land a run would have been plenty for me and to get on the podium, but to get first is crazy.”

Gerard is the first Winter Olympic medalist born this century.

Embedded video from Twitter:

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Get free copy of our 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control!

Source Article from https://truththeory.com/2018/02/16/after-oversleeping-teen-drops-f-bomb-on-live-tv-and-wins-olympic-gold/

World’s biggest franchise: Who profits from the Olympic Games?

To make it more specific – whose money makes the Olympics roll?

There’s arguably no sleeker money-making machine in the world than the IOC currently is – selling its name & symbols for a major buck. But let’s address common misconceptions first.

Popular belief:

The IOC is somewhat similar to the UN – it exists on fees paid by respective country members or, more specifically, National Olympic Committees.

Truth:

The IOC is, essentially, a private organization incorporated in Switzerland as a non-profit.
It proudly says about itself

…As an entirely privately funded organisation, the IOC’s commercial partnerships continue to prove invaluable to the staging of the Olympic Games and the operations of every organisation within the Olympic Movement.

Popular belief:

The IOC and the Olympics organizers share costs of preparing and staging the Olympics.

Truth:

The Olympic Games are the world biggest franchise – an applicant-city has to convince the IOC that is has already prepared, or will prepare in time, what is necessary for the Games. Bearing all associated costs. ‘What’s necessary’ is at the sole discretion of the IOC. In exchange the successful bidder gets the right to call its competition ‘the Olympic Games’.

The lion’s share of expenses is always borne by the organizers. Including, but not limited to, building sport facilities, organizing lodgings and transportation for athletes and officials, feeding them during the Games etc., etc.

The only large expense borne by the IOC is the organization of television broadcasting of the events.

Popular Belief:

Surely, the profits are shared between the Olympics organizers and the IOC?

Truth:

Barely. The IOC retains and controls almost all the marketing rights associated with the Games. Profits from on-site Olympic paraphernalia and venue tickets sales are shared – but those are minor compared to the main sources of income. The main profits from those marketing rights always go straight to the IOC.

Popular Belief:

Speaking of main sources of income: the Games are largely underwritten by all those transnational corporations whose ads you get to see all the time, both as posters on the Olympic arenas and on your TV, right?

Truth:

Yes and no. In order to be associated with the IOC and have the right to display patented Olympic Rings on your wares, one has to buy into the Olympic Partner (TOP) Programme. Currently there are 13 large corporations, mostly US-headquartered that “pay the IOC for the rings.” They pay hundreds of millions of dollars per year for the privilege.

Yet the TOP Programme, while important, is a secondary source of money for the IOC.
Did we mention that all the money from the TOP go straight into the IOC coffers, the Games organizers have nothing to do with that?

…So, if ticket sales are minor source of income and even the money from those mighty Coca-Cola, P&G and Visa are small fry in comparison – who’s the IOC’s main financial sponsor?

The answer is simple: NBC Universal. An American media conglomerate that provides the IOC with a whopping 40+ percent of all its revenue from any given Olympic Games.

That follows from simple math: the New York City-headquartered corporation paid the IOC $4.38 billion for the TV rights for the US market for the four Olympics from 2014-2020, inclusive of PyeongChang 2018, or $1.1 billion on average (the contract does not distinguish between the Summer and Winter Olympics). 

For those stunned by the amount of money the Americans are willing to send to Lausanne, here’s an even more impressive figure: as early as 2014, NBC and the IOC extended their deal to cover the next six Olympics till 2032 – for $7.75 billion, or 1.3 billion each.

How and if NBC makes return on such a huge investment (the biggest sum paid in television history) is a separate story – but the fact is, the Americans are the Olympic movement’s biggest ‘shareholders’. One might even call it having a ‘controlling stake’.

But that’s not it. Tired of haggling with European broadcasters individually, the IOC decided to sell the TV rights to the whole of Europe in one package. The Europeans tried, but failed, to appease the IOC’s appetite. The rights went to another US-based media behemoth – Discovery Communications. The deal is not as sweet for the IOC as the NBC one, but not a pesky number by any means: the Maryland-based corporation paid €1.3 billion for four Olympics 2018-2024 (about US$1.6 billion at the current rate, or $40 million ‘per item’). Discovery then proceeded to resell the rights piecemeal to individual European broadcasters, which caused no end of anguish for the latter, but again, that’s a separate story.

Compared to the NBC and Discovery deals, the rest of the world is paying a lot less – while not publicly disclosed, estimates indicate that the two biggest IOC earners outside the US and Europe – the Japanese and Chinese TV rights – give the Olympic right-holders $250 and $125 million per ‘Olympiad’, respectively.

All in all, the latest breakdown of the IOC revenue looks as follows:

• 73 percent broadcasting rights
• 18 percent the Olympic Partner (TOP) Programme marketing rights
• 5 percent other revenue
• 4 percent other rights

The total IOC revenue for the upcoming Games could be (rather conservatively) estimated at $2 billion. Does that mean the IOC bosses get to put it into the Swiss bank vaults nearby? Of course not! Most of the money will be spent on aiding poorer countries’ sports development, as well as staging loss-making competitions such a Youth Olympic Games. The IOC, however, modestly mentions in its documents that “somewhat less than 10 percent of revenue goes towards keeping it functional” – not a small chunk of money by any means.

More importantly, the IOC is barely hiding that these days its prime function is to increase the revenue flow by selling what could be sold to the highest bidder. Whoever that bidder is and wherever it comes from. As a result, it starts to resemble a corporation in which key investors demand more compliance from the management – “or else.” So much for the ‘international Olympic movement.’

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/418322-olympic-games-money-profits/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Fly the flag’: MP proposes plan for popular support of Russian Olympic athletes

I propose that our National Olympic Committee issues an address to the people and asks them to fly the Russian tricolor on their homes for the period of the 2018 Winter Olympics as a sign of support and solidarity with our athletes,” Vitaly Milonov (United Russia) said in a recent interview with RIA Novosti.

They have banned our athletes from competing under our flag and forbid them to bear any signs of their nation on their clothing. But regardless of all that they still remain Russian athletes who are defending our country’s honor. We must support them regardless of any resistance offered by our enemies, both open and hidden,” Milonov told reporters.

No one can forbid us to love our athletes and sympathize with them. They must know that people still support them at home and wait for their return. The flag is a symbol of our solidarity with them,” he concluded.

The official letter with the proposal was sent to the Russian National Olympic Committee on Monday.

In early December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) from the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics after studying the results of two separate investigations of alleged Russian doping – one concerning individual athletes, the other institutional violations.

The committee still allowed “clean” Russian athletes to compete in the 2018 games, but under condition that they do so under a neutral flag and do not publicly display any signs or symbols associated with Russia. Competing as neutrals without a national team means that athletes will not take part in the opening ceremony, and their country’s anthem will not be played if they win any medals.

On February 1 the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) cleared 28 Russian athletes and coaches of doping charges and ordered to lift the lifetime ban on their participation in the games. However, the International Olympic Committee still refused to invite Russian athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

In explanations over this step the IOC said it had considered “additional elements and/or evidence” that were unavailable to other instances, but refuse to reveal the full reasoning for the decision.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/politics/417896-lawmaker-proposes-plan-for-popular/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

The yolk’s on you: Norway’s Olympic team overwhelmed with 15,000 eggs they didn’t order

The Norwegian Olympic team, which arrived in PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Games, had placed an order for 1,500 eggs, but something was lost in translation – or rather, added: An extra zero increased the order tenfold.

The conversation between the Norwegian guests and the Korean hosts wasn’t all that smooth as both sides made use of an online translator, Aftenposten reports.

Finally, the delivery arrived, but it only took one look at it too see it was too much. “We received half a truck load of eggs,” said Stale Johansen, the Team Norway’s chef. “There was no end to the delivery. Absolutely unbelievable,” he added.

Fortunately, the chefs managed to return most of the order – 13,500 eggs, to be precise – but they say Norwegian athletes in need of protein can still expect a lot egg-wise.

“There will be omelets, boiled and fried eggs and smoked salmon with scrambled eggs. And we hope there will be a lot of sugar bread made for medal winners,” Johansen said.

READ MORE: Your drone arrived! Russian pizzeria launches unmanned delivery

The Games will push Norwegian cooks to their limits, he added, saying “the biggest challenge is that we will serve food virtually around the clock.”

“We have both cross-country skiing and ice skating here, and there is food served from half past seven in the morning until almost two,” the chef explained.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/417829-norway-olympic-team-eggs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

IOC ‘regrets’ Russian athletes’ Olympic appeal success

On Thursday, CAS ruled to drop the Olympic lifetime bans of 28 athletes, reinstate their results and make them eligible to compete in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, stating that the evidence in their cases was “insufficient” to establish that “an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes.”

CAS did however partially uphold the appeals of 11 other Russian athletes, but downgraded their lifetime Olympic bans to “ineligibility” only for the upcoming PyeongChang Games, which begin on February 9.

An IOC statement released following the ruling read, “On the one hand, the confirmation of the Anti-Doping Rule Violations for 11 athletes because of the manipulation of their samples clearly demonstrates once more the existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

“On the other hand, the IOC regrets very much that – according to the CAS press release – the panels did not take this proven existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system into consideration for the other 28 cases.”

The IOC statement outlined that CAS required a “higher threshold” of evidence than required by the Oswald Commission, a WADA-backed investigation into alleged state-sponsored doping, and the findings of which led to the initial bans. The organization said it will “consider consequences, including an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.”

Russian athletes are still only allowed to compete at PyeongChang by invitation from the IOC, as the decision by the organization’s Executive Board on December 5 to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) remains in place. Therefore, the 28 athletes are not automatically guaranteed a place at PyeongChang.

Among those free to compete in the games are Sochi Olympic champion cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin. Speed-skater Olga Fatkulina, bobsledders Dmitry Trunenkov and Alexey Negodaylo, and skeleton racer Aleksandr Tretiakov – all of whom won gold or silver medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics – were also given permission to take part.

READ MORE: Russia back to 1st in overall Sochi Olympics medal count after CAS ruling

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/sport/417600-ioc-regret-cas-ruling-russian-athletes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Official Olympic website shows pictures of Russian athletes in uniform with national flags

On December 5, the IOC’s Executive Board voted in favor of excluding Russia from the upcoming PyeongChang Olympics as the result of an investigation into the country’s alleged doping violations.

Following Russia’s disqualification from next month’s Winter Games, the IOC ruled that national athletes who can prove a clean doping history to a specially appointed Invitation Review Panel would be allowed to take part in the event under the name of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).

READ MORE: Russian Olympic Committee banned from 2018 Winter Games, athletes allowed to compete as neutrals

All Russian national emblems, including the flag, anthem and coat of arms were banned by the IOC; with athletes being warned that any demonstration of their national affiliation will be strictly penalized.

In the “Olympic Athlete from Russia Conduct Guidelines” issued by the IOC last week, the body outlined that OAR athletes should “refrain from any public form of publicity, activity and communication associated with the national flag, anthem, emblem and symbols and NOC emblem at any Olympic site or via media.

However, the official website of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games displays images of the OAR athletes, in which the Russian flag is clearly visible.

In the ‘Athletes and Teams’ section of the site, the majority of OAR ice hockey players have profile pictures that were used for previous tournaments, with jerseys emblazoned with the Russian national tricolor.

A member of the curling team, Julia Guzieva, is also depicted in a sports jacket with white, blue and red lines forming the country’s flag.

Requirements stipulated by the IOC state that no indication of Russian nationality should feature on the Olympic uniform. The word “Russia” should be the same size as the words “Olympic Athlete from,” and all national emblems must be replaced with the neutral OAR logo.

The IOC also stressed that the Olympic uniform should be made in single or dual colors, which should not necessarily reflect the colors of the Russian national flag.

It remains unknown whether the IOC will implement any sanctions against those who approved the outdated pictures for the Olympic website, but in guidelines published last Friday, the body said it “will monitor the application of these guidelines prior to and during the PyeongChang 2018.”

READ MORE: Russian skater cleared by IOC refuses to go to Olympics without banned teammates

The conduct guidelines established by the IOC set out the rules that must be obeyed by OAR members during the Games. As well as prohibiting the display of national emblems, the body also forbids OAR members from accepting the national flag from the crowd, showing national symbols on social media, and singing the national anthem inside an Olympic venue.

OAR athletes are also not allowed to take part in “alternate” victory ceremonies organized by the Russian Olympic Committee or any third party.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/sport/417492-olympic-website-pictures-russia-national-flag/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Putin to Russian Olympic athletes: Sorry we could not protect you amid doping scandal

Competing in professional sports is hard enough in itself, Putin said. “It’s twice as difficult when sport is intermixed with some events, phenomena alien to it, outside circumstances, politics, or something else,” he added.

The president said that the scandals surrounding Russian sport had sparked heated debates within the country, adding that this “creates an extremely difficult environment for achieving results.

Forgive us for not being able to protect you from that,” Putin told the Russian athletes.

The Russian leader promised to help those athletes who were barred from participating in the upcoming Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Certainly, we’re very worried about our sportsmen and women who were not able to participate in the Olympics. We’ll do our best to support them,” Putin said.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/sport/417488-putin-apologizes-russian-athletes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

5 Russian Olympic medal contenders who might be barred from 2018 Games

Following the Russian Olympic ban imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on December 5 as a result of doping allegations, the right to approve athletes’ participation at the upcoming Games was delegated to a specially-appointed Invitation Review Panel. The body is chaired by former French Sports Minister Valérie Fourneyron.

The panel, aimed to grant Olympic entry to ‘clean’ Russian team members never implicated in doping, has already excluded 111 Russian athletes from the application. It originally included 500 participants.

“Following intensive weeks of work by the Independent Invitation Review Panel members, in which they went into detailed consideration of each individual athlete, they have established a pool of clean athletes from which athletes to be invited by the IOC to take part in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 as an ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia’ (OAR) can be chosen. More than 80 percent of the athletes in this pool did not compete at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. This shows that this is a new generation of Russian athletes,” the IOC said in the staement.

While the final pool of the Russian competitors has not yet been announced, the Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) vice-president, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, who received the list on Monday, said that several athletes had been left off it.

RT Sport takes a look at five Russian Olympic-medal hopefuls who might be banned from the 2018 Games in South Korea.

1. Sergey Ustugov (cross-country skiing)

After several Russian skiers, including Olympic champions Alexander Legkov and Nikita Kriukov, were banned from competing in any future Games for alleged doping violations, all Russian medal hopes have become tied with Sergey Ustiugov. He grabbed five medals at the 2017 pre-Olympic world championship in Lachti, Finland, leading a depleted Russian squad to silver in the men’s 4x10km relay.

In January 2017, he won the prestigious Tour de Ski cross-country competition, establishing himself as a strong contender to fight for an Olympic podium place in the absence of his well-decorated team mates, who were suspended and later banned as part of the doping investigation.

So far Ustiugov, who has never violated doping rules, has not been approved to compete at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang.

2. Anton Shipulin (biathlon)

Top Russian biathlete Anton Shipulin, who has been preparing for his third Olympics, might miss the upcoming event, following the Invitation Review Panel’s refusal to add his name to the list of athletes allowed to compete in South Korea.

The 2014 Olympic champion in the men’s relay is in excellent form this season, after taking several medals at the Biathlon World Cup. He was widely considered to be one of the favorites to win medals in South Korea.

Shipulin, whose sports career has been unmarred by doping, and whose name was not included in the notorious McLaren Report, was somehow excluded from the list of eligible athletes. His absence has raised questions with many countries that have condemned the IOC’s decision.

3. Viktor Ahn (short-track)

The most decorated short track speed skater risks being left out of the 2018 Olympics, which will be held in his native South Korea, in less than three weeks.

Ahn competed for his native South Korea under the name Ahn Hyun-soo until 2011, when a disagreement with the Korean Skating Union (KSU) led him to acquire Russian citizenship and compete for his new country at the 2014 Sochi Games, where he earned three gold medals.

His participation in the PyeongChang Olympics remains in doubt, as the IOC’s Invitation Review Panel has reportedly denied him entry into the Games due to the fact that his name was mentioned in the McLaren Report.

4. Alexander Tretyakov (skeleton)

Prominent Russian athlete Aleksandr Tretyakov, who won gold at the 2014 Sochi Games in men’s skeleton, was penalized by the IOC last month as a result of the investigation into Russia’s alleged doping violations.

More than 40 Russian team members, including Tretyakov, received life bans from competing in any future Olympics, and had their Sochi results annulled as part of the massive crackdown imposed on Russia months before the 2018 Olympics.

Tretyakov, who has always passed both domestic and international drug tests, was accused of manipulating tests after scratches were found on the bottles of his Sochi drug tests.

Last month, he filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the IOC’s verdict.

5. Denis Yuskov (speed skating)

World champion speed skater Denis Yuskov, who claimed two titles at the recent European Single Distance Championships, has also been excluded from the list of athletes approved by the IOC.

His participation in the upcoming Games was in doubt long before the IOC’s decision, as the skater does not meet the entry requirement of having a clean record.

In 2008, Yuskov was disqualified after a test revealed the presence of marijuana. It was later proven, however, that the doping case against the athlete had been fabricated and Yuskov’s disqualification was subsequently canceled.

Despite being cleared of doping charges, Uskov is no longer considered to have a spotless record, which was enough for the Invitation Review Panel to ban him from the Winter Olympics.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/sport/416742-russia-olympic-team-ban/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Koreas to march under ‘united’ flag in Olympic Games after first high level talks in two years

The

    

North and South Korea have agreed to march together under a single “unified Korea” flag at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South.

They also agreed to field a joint women’s ice hockey team in rare talks at the truce village of Panmunjom.

These are the first high-level talks between the countries in more than two years.

It marks a thaw in relations that began in the new year when North Korea offered to send a team to the games.

The games will take place between 9 and 25 February in Pyeongchang in South Korea.

What will happen?

If the plans are realised, a hundreds-strong North Korean delegation – including 230 cheerleaders, 140 orchestral musicians and 30 taekwondo athletes – could cross into the South via the land border to attend the Winter Olympics.

It will mean the opening of the cross border road for the first time in almost two years.

The two countries have also agreed to field a joint team for the sport of women’s ice hockey. It would be the first time athletes from both Koreas have competed together in the same team at an Olympic Games.

The North has also agreed to send a smaller, 150-member delegation to the Paralympics in March.

The agreement will have to be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Saturday, because North Korea has missed registration deadlines or failed to qualify.

South Korea will also need to find ways to host the North Korean delegation without violating UN Security Council sanctions outlawing cash transfers to Pyongyang and blacklisting certain senior North officials.

What has the reaction been?

South Korea’s hockey coach and conservative newspapers have expressed concern about the prospect of a united hockey team, saying it could damage South Korea’s chances of winning a medal.

Tens of thousands of people are said to have signed online petitions urging President Moon Jae-in to scrap the plan.

But the liberal leader told South Korean Olympic athletes on Wednesday that the North’s participation in the Games would help improve inter-Korean relations.

Japan has viewed the latest detente with suspicion, with Foreign Minister Taro Kono saying the world should not be blinded by Pyongyang’s recent “charm offensive”.

“It is not the time to ease pressure or to reward North Korea,” Mr Kono said, according to Reuters news agency. “The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working.”

North and South met for the first high-level talks in two years - against a backdrop of mounting military tension No Korean Spring

    

Analysis by Jonathan Marcus, BBC Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent

The Olympic embrace between North and South Korea represents a rare moment of hope in a crisis that at times has appeared to be steadily moving towards another war on the Korean peninsula.

But is this a brief respite from the bluster and war-like words exchanged between Pyongyang and President Donald Trump, Seoul’s main ally? Or does it really offer a platform for a diplomatic route out of this crisis?

The enormity of an armed conflict is clear to all – even President Trump. However, the Olympic detente does not alter the realities of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Both programmes need more testing to demonstrate a true inter-continental capability. And with Mr Trump insisting that this is a capability that the North will not be allowed to obtain, it is hard to see this developing into a Korean spring, let alone a definitive resolution of the nuclear dispute.

How did the agreement come about?

The talks which resulted in this agreement came after tensions on the Korean peninsula reached their highest point in decades.

This is because North Korea has made rapid advances in its nuclear and conventional weapons programmes in recent years.

Its latest ballistic missile test, on 28 November, sparked a series of fresh sanctions from the UN targeting petrol shipments and travel.

Soon afterwards North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he was “open to dialogue”.

In a New Year speech, he said he was considering sending a team to the Winter Olympics. South Korea’s Olympics chief had said last year that the North’s athletes would be welcome.

Then, on 9 January, the two countries made the breakthrough announcement that the North would be sending a delegation.

It was also agreed that a military hotline between the nations, suspended for nearly two years, would be reinstated.

President Moon Jae-in has said the Olympic agreement could pave the way for the nuclear issue to be addressed and lead to dialogue between the North and the US, according to Yonhap news agency in Seoul.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/374484-Koreas-to-march-under-united-flag-in-Olympic-Games-after-first-high-level-talks-in-two-years

Kim warns Washington of ‘nuclear button on desk’ but vows ‘Olympic truce’ with South Korea

“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat,” he said in a televised speech, adding that “these weapons will be used only if our security is threatened.”

“We achieved the goal of completing our state nuclear force in 2017,” Kim said. “We need to mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and accelerate their deployment.”

However, the North Korean leader softened his tone regarding South Korea in the same speech.

“When it comes to North-South relations, we should lower the military tensions on the Korean Peninsula to create a peaceful environment,” Kim said. He added that “both the North and the South should make efforts [for peace].”

Reaching out to South Korea, which is preparing to host the Olympics for the second time in its history, Kim said Pyongyang would utilize the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games to start reconciliation with Seoul, and even consider sending a national sports team.

“North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to showcase the national pride and we wish the Games will be a success. Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility,” said Kim, dressed in a western-style suit and tie instead of his ordinary semi-military fatigues.

Meanwhile, Lee Hee-beom, president of the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee, told Reuters the hosts welcome North Korea’s participation: “The [organizing committee] will discuss relevant matters with the South Korean government as well as the International Olympic Committee.”

Pyongyang’s peace message may indicate an opening for inter-Korean dialogue after months of spiraling tensions, which have seen Washington threaten military action in response to North Korea’s progressing nuclear program. At the end of last year, the UN Security Council approved its strongest sanctions so far on North Korea, a move that Pyongyang described as an “act of war.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has repeatedly encouraged North Korea to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Since taking office in May last year, Moon, a moderate politician, urged dialogue with Kim in a bid to ease tensions, marking a significant shift from the conservative government of impeached President Park Geun-hye, who he replaced.

The two Koreas have attempted to mend ties on numerous occasions over the past two decades, but with little success. In the late 1990s, then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung announced the ‘Sunshine Policy’ towards the North, which led to the first-ever Inter-Korean talks in the 2000s. At the time, the South Korean president arranged a meeting with then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, for which Kim Dae-jung was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2007, his successor, President Roh Moo-hyun, crossed the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and headed for Pyongyang, also meeting Kim Jong-il. However, peace efforts dissipated as military tensions began to mount on the peninsula, fueled by the 2010 sinking of South Korean corvette ROKS Cheonan and the subsequent shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea.

Both South and North Korea teamed up to take part in several Olympic Games in the past, using the ‘Korean Unification Flag’ – featuring a blue silhouette of the Korean Peninsula on a white background –instead of their national flags.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/414743-north-korea-peace-olympics/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS