Fake Kim makes a splash at Games
North Korean figure skaters wow crowd and score personal best that puts them in the next round
NORTH Korea‘s figure skaters made their debut at the Winter Olympics on Wednesday with a personal best score that saw them through to the next round. Ryom Tae-ok, 19, and Kim Ju-sik, 25, performed their routine to a Jeff Beck cover of The Beatles song A Day In The Life and received the biggest applause of the day from the crowd inside the Gangneung Ice Arena.
They scored 69.40 which at the time put them in second place behind the Olympic Athletes for Russia on 70.52, though later performances meant they finished in 11th.
That was still enough to see them through to the free skating round, however, and topped coach Bruno Marcotte’s hopes that they would make it into the top 12.
“If they reach the top ten, then that would incredible,” Marcotte told the BBC earlier in the day, though it seems that dream will have to wait a little longer.
After their performance they waved to international media but did not stop for questions as they were rushed back to their dressing room. A statement issued later said they were grateful for the support of the Korean people.
Ryom and Kim are the only two North Korean athletes to make it to the PyeongChang Olympics solely on the basis of merit, and as such as they only two competing under the country’s flag.
North Korean ice skaters are also competing, though under a unified Korean flag after being merged with the South Korean team. The figure skaters originally qualified for the Olympics in September last year, but almost missed out on the Games when North Korea’s National Olympic Committee missed the deadline to register them, CNN reports.
But after a dramatic thawing of relations between the two Koreas, the International Olympic Committee extended the deadline for North Korea registration. The pair will now go on to compete in the long program on Thursday.
KIM DOUBLE PROVOKES CROWD IN PYEONGCHANG
A Kim Jong Un lookalike who has been making mischief at the Pyeongchang Olympics danced in front of North Korea's female cheerleading team before being nabbed and hauled off by police on Wednesday.
The Kim impersonator, wearing thick-rimmed glasses and dressed in all black, sparked anger when he waved at the famed army of beauties at an ice hockey game between the joint Korea team and Japan. Many of the cheerleaders giggled nervously and waved back, but when the fake Kim broke into an impromptu jig all hell broke loose.
Within seconds, he was tackled by three burly security officials, thought to be North Korean, before being frog-marched by police to a room inside the arena, watched by stunned onlookers.
Snowboarding great Shaun White brilliantly won his third Olympic gold but then faced awkward questions over sex claims today as strong winds caused chaos at the Pyeongchang Winter Games. White, starting last in the halfpipe, watched bronze medallist Scotty James wipe out before nailing a spectacular last run of the day to snatch victory from Japan's Ayumu Hirano, celebrating wildly afterwards.
Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won a second successive Olympic doubles luge gold for Germany on Wednesday. Peter Penz and Georg Fischler of Austria took the silver ahead of Germany's bronze-winning pair Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken.
They are only athletes from country to compete on merit
Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik of North Korea in action.
Kim Jong-un impersonator is escorted from the arena by security personnel during an ice hockey game between Unified Korea team and Japan on Wednesday.