LAUSANNE: IOC president Thomas Bach has called a meeting to decide on how to manage the participation of competitors from both North and S0uth Korea at next month’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
This follows a joint proposal from the states’ two governments earlier this week.
Bach will chair a four-way meeting on Saturday week at IOC headquarters in Lausanne. The participants will be a delegation from the PyeongChang 2018 organising committee and delegations from the NOCs of the neighbouirng states – all led by their respective presidents, as well as high-ranking government officials and the IOC members in both countries.
Issues include the number and names of athletes and officials from North Korea since the registration deadlines have passed.
The IOC will also have to decide on the format of such participation, including questions related to the official protocol (flag, anthem, ceremonies, uniform, etc.).
Another intriguing issue is the possibillity of a joint team in some events. These include the two-man bobsleigh and women’s ice hockey.
At Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and Turin in 2006 the two Koreas marched together at the Opening Ceremony though the last time a fully integrated participation occurred was in Berlin in 1936.
Bach said: “I warmly welcome the joint proposals by the governments of the ROK and DPRK, which have been applauded by so many other governments worldwide.
“This is a great step forward in the Olympic spirit and in the spirit of the Olympic Truce Resolution passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Now the IOC must take the decisions to make this political commitment a reality.”