Koreas share historic handshake at Olympics opening led by Greek team

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Koreas share historic handshake at Olympics opening led by Greek teamThe Olympic Games is another major contribution by Ancient Greece to the whole of humanity

AP reports from South Korea that a historic moment happened even before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics had officially begun.

As South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife greeted VIPs in their dignitary box to watch the opening ceremony, they turned to shake hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, who had arrived earlier in the day on an unprecedented visit to the South by a member of the North’s ruling Kim family.

"All broke out in broad smiles," AP notes and adds that Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, was at the opening ceremony with North Korea’s nominal head of state, 90-year-old Kim Yong Nam. They are part of an extraordinary diplomatic push by the North aimed at using the Olympics to ease tensions with Seoul and bolster unity between the two Koreas after a year that has been marked by escalating fears of war and increasing angry rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington.

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games of Pyeongchang were officially launched at the Opening Ceremony. Spectators, athletes, and officials were welcomed to the chiming of bells as a ceremony titled “Peace in Motion” got underway in the 35,000-seated Pyeongchang Olympic stadium.

The Greek team, as always in the Olympic Games, entered the Olympic Stadium first, causing a thrill of emotion and enthusiasm for all Greek.

And the historic handshake of the two Koreas, made possible thanks to the Olympic Games, was a strong of this great contribution by Ancient Greeks to all of Mankind.

The Greek team’s flag bearer was Sofia Rallis, who is taking part in the Olympic Games for the third time. She is the first Winter Olympics athlete that will represent Greece in the sport of Alpine Skiing.

In the meanwhile, back in Greece, a humorous exchange between South Korean Ambassador to Athens Ahn Young-Jip and Deputy Minister for Sports Giorgos Vasiliadis about attending the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang was the inspiration behind an event at the ambassador's residence bringing together officials of both sides to watch the opening ceremonies on Friday.

In statements to to Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA), the ambassador said that when he asked Vasiliadis if he would fly to South Korea to attend the opening ceremony, the Greek deputy minister replied that it would cheaper to watch it together in Athens.

Stepping up to the challenge, the South Korean ambassador invited him and Athanasios (Sakis) Vasiliadis, Head of the Hellenic Federation of Gymnastics and of the Olympic Torch Relay Commission to  watch the opening of the Games at his residence in Athens. 

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

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