Fake Kim makes a splash at Games

North Korean fig­ure skaters wow crowd and score per­sonal best that puts them in the next round

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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.


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.

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