Won to bear Korean unification flag during Winter Olympics

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Seoul, Feb 6 (IANS) Olympic athletes of the two Koreas will march together behind a Korean unification flag carried by Won Yun-jong, a bobsledder from the South, at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Games this week, according to sports officials on Tuesday.

Won was picked by the Korean Sport & Olympics Committee as the South Korean bearer of the flag and was recommended to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics Government Support Group for final approval, according to a committee representative.

The International Olympic Committee approved the joint march last month, allowing two delegations to enter PyeongChang Olympic Stadium behind the unification flag, an image of the Korean peninsula in blue against a white background, at the opening ceremony, reports Yonhap news agency.

The 31-year-old sledder served as the flag bearer at the launch of the South Korean national Olympic team held last month.

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Won’s North Korean counterpart, however, has not yet been decided. The North’s flag bearer is expected to be a female athlete.

This will be the 10th joint march for the Koreas at an international sporting event. At the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, 300 athletes and officials from each of the Koreas, 600 in total, marched together.

Both Koreas will have their largest Winter Olympics delegations ever: the South with 219 athletes and officials and the North with 46 athletes and officials.

Meanwhile, speed skating star Mo Tae-bum of the South is reportedly the lead contender for the Olympian who will take the “Olympic Oath” representing every athlete at the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Mo is expected to be paired with a North Korean female athlete during the oath reciting ceremony.

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