Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sugar, Feb 16, 2013.
I hope that North Korean skaters are allowed to compete internationally again. I remember how surprised I was at how good they were when they came to one international event a few years ago. I'm not sure that giving them the cold shoulder is of nearly the benefit that could result with opening the door even a little. Then again, I wasn't aghast when Paul Simon dared to sing in South Africa.
OK, having watched the video...has there ever been a figure skating crowd with more stoic faces?
Their synchro team looked good, though I don't know how synchro folks would assess it. And the little boy in lime green has lovely use of his arms.
A North Korean pair team competed at 2012 Worlds and qualified for SP but not the FS, finishing 20th: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00010432.htm
Ri/Thae's Worlds SP: http://youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=X9XJoCyAeV0
They also had a pairs team on the Junior Grand Prix this year, finishing 10th in their event.
They are allowed to compete internationally.
It's a question of money or more likely the question of propaganda. You are taught all your life that imperialist countries are full of poverty and suffering and then you go abroad and you see a country much more developed than North Korea. I would imagine that they want to avoid that happening as much as possible.
This, plus they have a problem with defectors (people defect TO China from North Korea) so lots of international travel = lots of opportunities for athletes, coaches, officials, etc. to jump ship. I don't think most other countries forbid North Koreans from coming in, North Korea is a lot more reluctant to let them out.
Athletes from other countries going in is probably better for the 'no cold shoulder' strategy, provided they don't become useful idiots who come back merrily singing the praises of how free and wonderful the place is, like a lot of morons visiting Stalin's USSR did.
Defections are not that common because if you defect, your entire family as well as your acquaintances are sent to 'labour camps' which are basically gulags where you eventually die due to a combination of lack of food and hard labour.
But yeah that probably factors in as well.
I would love to go to North Korea.
After reading Laura Ling's account of being imprisoned there, I would not risk it, but then I would be mistaken for a spy.
I was thinking about it, but I dont think I would be approved visa in Beijing.