North Korean and South Korean gymnasts taking a selfie together is why we love the Olympics
It’s easy to forget in the heat of competition that the Olympics mean so much more than just athletic events. It’s a chance for countries from all over the world to come together for two weeks, despite the politics or conflicts that might otherwise be the only thing we talk about. It’s never been more perfectly captured than when two gymnasts took a selfie together.
That’s right, North Korean and South Korean gymnasts took a photo together, and it was the selfie heard round the world.
Lee Eun-ju of South Korea and Hong Un-Jong of North Korea showed us all how powerful the unifying force of the Olympics can be when they made the simple gesture of taking this picture together.
North Korea and South Korea have been existing as tense neighbors since the Korean War in the 1950s. Since then, North Korea has become a very insular country, cut off from the world. It also has a notoriously authoritarian government causing an antagonistic relationship with most other countries in the world, and none more so than South Korea.
But this selfie, while seemingly so simple, reminds us that these athletes can put aside the conflict imposed by their countries and show their mutual respect. This is one of the few times that North Korea and South Korea comes together on a worldwide stage, and it makes us SO happy to see them celebrating the occasion together.
Neither gymnast made a much of a splash in the competition, but they made HUGE splash in our hearts!
This isn’t the only example of the Olympic spirit.
Luckily, reporter Ian Bremmer keeps us updated on all the fantastic stories happening at the Olympics.