♪ “Taste the kimchi, taste the rice! Team Korea, here unites!” ♪
PYEONGCHANG – The united women’s hockey team of North and South Korea was treated to a deeply-sought slow-clap at the 2018 Winter Olympic games in Korea on Wednesday.
After losing two straight games 8-0 to Sweden and Switzerland, Team Korea arrived for their final match against Japan last night fighting for some respect and dignity. They arrived on the rink, singing this tune with pride, power, and not taking no crap off of nobody.
They were about to find out, uniting their countries wasn’t so easy!
Just like Switzerland and Sweden before it, Japan happily sabotaged the Korean peace effort, defeating Team Korea by a score of 4-1 and sealing a demoralizing 0-3 run for the home team.
“As usual, Japan and Switzerland demonstrated that war is all they’ve ever cared about,” said Team Korea’s Canadian Coach, Sarah Murray. “Sweden could have stayed neutral and kept out of it, but obviously that’s not what Swedes do. They get involved and cause problems,” she said, referring to Team Sweden’s 8-0 rout of Team Korea on Monday.
Outscored 20-1 in their three games, Team Korea nonetheless put up a spirited effort in their loss to Japan. Referee Tina Alan recalled how she nearly called it early in mercy to the players, but was headed off by the emotional moment.
“I was going to call the game midway through the third period, maybe give the North Koreans a chance to evacuate to a safer country,” she said. “But then the Swiss started that slow-clap and we thought, meh, let’s let them finish.”
The Swiss slow-clap, as it does, gradually turned into a spirited applause for Team Korea who gave it their all as a team struggling to overcome their comically disparate character flaws and differences. The clap consumed the entire rest of the game, likely preventing another four goals by the Japanese team.
“Very good Korea,” said Switzerland’s Ana Muller to Team Korea’s Sojung Shin, having overcome her insecurities and aversions toward a new and unconventional opponent, now viewing them as a worthy and respectable equal. “See you in four years, ja?”
Last to join in the applause was US Vice President and head of the American delegation Mike Pence, who spent most of the Olympics looking on with a sour look, but was overcome by the inspiring demonstration of the young Korean women.
He gave that last, approving-nod-with-a-furrowed-brow-and-firm-but-slight-smile-indicative-of-having-overcome-his-own-doubts, and joined the applause.
Icy Sprints contributed to this report. They can be reached at [email protected]