SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Despite a continuing nuclear standoff and virtually no interactions between each other politically, some North and South Koreans are making an exception — among their athletes at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The countries’ interactions in Rio first grabbed international headlines when South Korea’s 17-year-old gymnast Lee Eun-ju took a selfie with North Korea’s Hong Un Jong earlier this month as they trained for competition. They interacted more a few days later when they shared the floor during preliminary competition, where Lee was eliminated and Hong advanced to the vault final.
It is Lee’s first Olympics, while Hong was the first North Korean female gymnast to win gold, at the 2008 Beijing Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach described the selfie as a “great gesture.”