Chang Ung, the lone North Korean member of the International Olympics Committee (IOC), said Monday that he was touched by the scene of South and North Korean athletes' joint march during the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics last week.
Speaking at a sports diplomacy photo exhibition in Gangneung, a sub-host city of the Feb. 9-25 games, he also touted the two Koreas' joint women's hockey team as carrying a significant meaning.
"I felt exactly the same way you, journalists, have felt ... nothing more or less," Chang said. "My heart was moved (by the scene of the joint march)."
|Chang Ung (Right) at Olympics photo exhibition at Gangneung city hall, Monday. (Yonhap)|
During the opening ceremony on Friday, the athletes and officials from the two Koreas marched together behind the Korean Unification Flag -- a blue Korean Peninsula against a white background.
In a message to the joint hockey team, he said, "Do your best.
Even though your capacity may not be as great, the meaning (of your joint team) is ten times greater," he said.
"Due to my tight schedule, I haven't seen their matches thoroughly yet ... but I wish to go along and watch all athletes playing," he added.
Chang, then, voiced hopes that the successful hosting of the quadrennial games in the South could leave a "historic legacy."
"As (the South) has ambitiously prepared for the Olympics, I think the games are proceeding successfully," he said. "As the games are a historic event, I think it is very touching, and hope (the South) will do its best, until the end, to leave a historic legacy."
The exhibition, which runs through Feb. 25, is hosted by the Korea Sports Press Union and Association Internationale de la Press Sportive (AIPS). It displays a series of photos showing the process of choosing the final host nation of the 2018 Winter Games since 2004. (Yonhap)