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  • Seoul Celebrates 30 Years Since Summer Olympic Games


    (ATR) - South Korea celebrated  the 30th anniversary of its historic Olympic Games in Seoul in

    On September 17th three decades ago, the IOC held several meetings with the two Koreas but Pyongyang would not budge. The North stayed home, the last boycott of the Olympics.

    A half dozen countries, including Cuba, stayed home as well.  Cuban athletes such as boxer Felix Savon, was denied the chance to win their first Olympic title.Later Savon won gold medals at Barcelona 92, Atlanta 96 and Sydney 00.

    Since then the shadow of the boycott has disappeared from the Olympic world. Today, thanks to the new international overtures, there is talk of unified teams for the Korean peninsula and of possible Olympic Games shared in the future. 

    Korean Leaders 3rd Summit

    South Korean President  Jae-in Moon will fly to Pyongyang for his third summit with North Korean leader Jong-un Kim  on Tuesday. It will be the first time in 18 years for a South Korean president to visit the North Korean capital by plane.

    A proposal for the Koreas to co-host the Olympics could arise between the presidents Seoul’s sports minister Do Jong-hwan said South Korea is thinking of co-hosting the Olympics 2032 with North Korea for regional peace. Do made the remarks in Tokyo ahead of a sports ministers meeting with his Japanese and Chinese counterparts.
    For the 2030 or 2034 FIFA World Cup, Do said South Korea is thinking of co-hosting the top football tournament with Asian neighbors, according Yonhap agency.

    Do was scheduled to have bilateral meetings with Gao Zhidan, deputy director of the General Administration of Sport of China, and with Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Japanese minister of sports, for expanding sports cooperation between the countries.

    South Korea, Japan and China agreed to hold sports ministers’ meetings after the three nations were selected as the hosts of three consecutive Olympics in Northeast Asia.

    South Korea this February staged the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, and Beijing will be home to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

    With Japan the participation of unified Korean teams for the Tokyo 2020 Games was discussed.

    “In order to form joint teams, we need to work together from the qualifying stages. We’ll speak with sports associations and athletes. I’ll also talk with the North Korean sports minister about this.” , Do said.

    Some 200 personalities will accompany President Moon among them presidential staff, Cabinet members, politicians, business men, religious leaders, labor activists, women's rights activists, musicians, athletes and journalists.

    Sports Stars At Summit

    Four sports figures will be joining President Moon: Kee-heung Lee , head of the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, Olympic women's table tennis champion Jung-hwa Hyun; Bum-kun Cha, former star forward and head coach of the South Korean men's national football team; and Jong-ah Park, captain of the unified Korean women's ice hockey team at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

    Hyun said she'd like to see the Koreas field joint teams at both the world championships and the Summer Olympics in 2020. Hyun was an Olympic gold medalist in 1988 and three-time world champion.

    She was a member of the unified Korean team at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba City, Japan.

    The Koreas have already competed under one flag at two world competitions this year.

    Cha, former scoring star in Bundesliga, is expected to be part of discussions on co-hosting of a future FIFA World Cup.
    Mong-gyu Chung, head of the Korea Football Association, met with representatives from North Korea, Japan and China and proposed a four-nation World Cup in 2030 or 2034. Seoul's sports minister, Jong-whan Do, made the same proposal to his Japanese and Chinese counterparts during their trilateral meeting in Tokyo last week.

    Unified Korean Team To World Judo Champs

    In the midst of these messages of reconciliation through sport, Seoul's judo governing body said South and North Korea will form a joint judo team for a mixed team event at the upcoming World Judo Championships, which will be held this month in in Baku, Azerbaijan.

    The mixed team event will be held on Sept. 27, the last day of the world championships.

    Details about the unified team will be decided after Seoul and Pyongyang send their delegations to Azerbaijan.
    The Koreas assembled a unified team in women's hockey and also had a joint march during the opening ceremony at the PyeongChang Winter Games in February.
    It was the first joint Korean team in Olympic history, winter or summer.
    Days later, IOC President Thomas Bach made a trip to Pyongyang.
    At the Asian Games in Indonesia, the Koreas competed as one in canoeing, rowing and women's basketball.

    Seoul 30th Celebration

    This September 17 the Seoul Olympic Games were remembered with a ceremony attended by hundreds of guests.
    Among them were South Korea's sports minister Do ;  O-young Lee creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1988 Olympics; International Weightlifting Federation chief Tamas Ajan; IOC members Sergey Bubka and Pal Schmitt. Bubka competed in 1988.
    A celebration in times of change.

    Reported by  Miguel Hernandez.

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