The men at South Korea's Olympic hockey team may not be all Korean--but they're working just as hard to deliver that first men's hockey medal to South Korea.
Unlike the bombshell debut of Korea's unified women's hockey team at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, things are a little quieter at the South Korean men's hockey team, who just stepped into the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung for the first time Sunday night.
Unlike their woman counterpart, who has been on the headlines for months since both South and North Koreans will be playing in one team, the South Korea hockey team has been slightly low-key. One reason was that they were practically nonexistent before and will be playing their first ever Olympic match this coming February 15 against Czech Republic.
Why haven't we heard so much about the South Korea men's hockey team before? Well, it's because their hockey team has been quite a last-minute creation. The Washington Post reports that a closer look at the South Korea men's hockey team will show you that seven of the 25 players were born in other countries, naturalized only as Korean citizens to play for the hockey team. That means more than 25 percent of the whole team is North Americans.
In fact, as the "Korean" men stepped into the rink for practice, English words echoed throughout the almost empty arena like "These boards are bouncy" and "Bring it in, bring it in." This is pretty surprising for one of the most homogeneous countries in the world.